Google Blames Filing Agent for Leaking Earnings Early

Posted: October 19, 2012 in Geek Stuff, Social Media
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Google‘s third-quarter earnings leaked four hours early Thursday afternoon, sending the stock down more than 8% before trading was halted. Google says R.R. Donnelley, its filing agent, is to blame.

In an e-mail to Mashable, a Google spokesperson wrote:

“Earlier this morning R.R. Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorization. We have ceased trading on NASDAQ while we work to finalize the document. Once it’s finalized we will release our earnings, resume trading on NASDAQ and hold our earnings call as normal at 1:30 PM PT.”

What was leaked was not the final earnings statement, but a draft. A note at the top of the report reads, “PENDING LARRY QUOTE” — presumably a reference to Google CEO Larry Page. The report was supposed to be released after the market close.

Third-quarter earnings, as indicated by the draft, were less than spectacular. The company posted earnings of $9.03 a share on $11.33 billion in revenue. Wall Street was expecting earnings of $10.63 a share and revenue of $11.86 billion. The company’s GAAP net income in the third quarter was $2.18 billion, down from $2.73 billion the same quarter in 2011. The company’s non-GAAP net income was $3.01 billion, compared to $3.18 billion in the third quarter of 2011.

R.R. Donnelley’s stock also dipped immediately after the leak, but had almost fully recovered by 2 p.m. on Thursday.

UPDATE: R.R. Donnelley says the leak was due to a human error.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of iStock, Hillary Fox

 

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