Google’s Earnings Surprise Halts Trade After Shares Plummet

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) tripped over a cliff when it surprised investors with an early release of earnings — a mistake Google is blaming on third-party publisher R.R. Donnelley & Sons (NASDAQ:RRD), according to The Wall Street Journal. The stock dropped as much as 9 percent before being halted at the request of the company.

The company’s posting shows earnings of $9.03 per share, missing expectations of $10.65. Revenue came in at $11.53 billion, below an expected $11.86 billion. Revenues increased 19 percent over the third quarter of 2011.

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Google was expected to release its earnings after closing bell Thursday, along with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Expectations for Google were high, as the company recently hit a milestone by breaking past Microsoft’s market cap — an achievement that could quickly evaporate.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will reveal its fiscal fourth-quarter results on October 25.

R.R. Donnelley & Sons was down over 4 percent on the news, then rebounded into the closing bell.

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