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Update: Google shares slide 8% after earnings fiasco

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Shares in Google closed down 8% after the tech giant's third quarter results - revealing a 20% drop in profits - were mistakenly released ahead of the US market close.

The stock plummeted as much as 10% before being hastily suspended as the Q3 results revealed figures well below analyst expectations.

The release showed Q3 net income fell 20% year-on-year to $2.18bn, with net revenue also failing to meet forecasts after rising to $11.3bn from $7.5bn.

An early drafting of the results was filed by financial printing company RR Donnelly ahead of the closing bell, sending Google shares as low as $676. Trading was later resumed and the stock closed down 8% at $695.

A statement from Google said: “Earlier this morning RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorisation.

“We have ceased trading on Nasdaq while we work to finalise the document.”

The second paragraph of the statement said “PENDING LARRY QUOTE” indicating the release was still awaiting comment from chief executive Larry Page.

The stock’s poor performance dragged down US markets and weighed on Asia equities overnight.

The S&P 500 closed down 0.2% at 1,457, with the NASDAQ ending down 0.1%. In Asia, the MSCI Asia Pacific index was trading down 0.1% shortly before the close.

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