Google Stock (GOOG) Has Biggest Fall Since 2008; Trading Halted After Printer Error

Google shares (NASDAQ: GOOG) halted trading today after its disappointing third-quarter earnings were released prematurely because of a mistake by its financial printer.

The company released the final draft of its earnings mid-afternoon and trading resumed at 3:20 PM EST.

Shares of Google halted at $687.39 on Thursday afternoon, down about 9 percent since yesterday's close, after a near-meteoric rise this summer.

Google's stock closed at $695.42 on Thursday, down 7.95 percent.

On Thursday early afternoon, the stock halted trading at the company's request to Nasdaq due to "news pending," as opposed to a technical glitch.

Google released a statement that said its printer had mistakenly filed its financial document with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company traditionally releases its earnings after the stock market closes.

"Earlier this morning RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorization," Google's statement read. "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."

Analysts noted that the earnings report was clearly a draft, with the words, "PENDING LARRY QUOTE" printed in the filing, referring to Google's CEO Larry Page.

In the company's official earnings release, Page's statement read, ""We had a strong quarter. Revenue was up 45 percent year-on-year, and, at just fourteen years old, we cleared our first $14 billion revenue quarter."

"I am also really excited about the progress we're making creating a beautifully simple, intuitive Google experience across all devices," Page said in the statement.

During the conference call, Page said he was "sorry" for the unanticipated early release.

R.R. Donnelley, the biggest printer for companies, is based in Chicago and is ranked 249 of the Fortune 500 largest U.S. companies, according to its website.

In a statement, the printing company said, "We are fully engaged in an investigation to determine how this event took place and are pursuing our first obligation – which is to serve our valued customer."

Prior to the earnings release, Google announced a major Android event in New York City at the end of the month and announced a new $249 laptop based on its Chrome operating system.

Google's quarterly earnings was lower than analysts had forecasted, in part driven by a 15 percent drop in costs per click. Profit was down 20 percent to $2.18 billion while its advertising revenue was $11.53 billion, up 19 percent from the third quarter of 2011.

Rick Summer, analyst with investment firm Morningstar, said Google's "revenue growth was modestly under our expectations and Motorola Mobility was also disappointing."

In May, Google completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility after first announcing the deal in August 2011. With that acquisition, Google firmly entered the hardware business to compete in the mobile phone sphere.

Google reported that revenue from its Motorola business was $2.6 billion, 18 percent of consolidated revenue in the third quarter of 2012.

ABC News' Joanna Stern and Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report.

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