Google shares drop after earnings snafu

Accidental early release of numbers shows ad sales sluggish

High-flying Google shares plunged Thursday after the company’s quarterly earnings, accidentally released earlier than anticipated, showed sluggish advertising and higher costs.

An inadvertent Securities and Exchange Commission filing sent the stock down 9% before it was suspended from trading while the company probed the cause of the snafu. The earnings included the phrase “pending Larry quote,” referring to a comment to be added by Google CEO Larry Page.

“Earlier this morning R.R. Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8-K earnings statement without authorization,” Google said in a statement. “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.”

The call is scheduled for 1:30 PT.

Earnings dipped to $2.18 billion from $2.73 billion.

Revenue rose 19% to $11.5 billion, below Wall Street’s estimates.

Costs, which include a portion of the $200 million committed to marketing new YouTube video channels, rose 71%.

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