A Comedy of Errors For Google — Profits Dip to $2.2B

There are bound to be some red faces at Google today.

Google may be known for compiling and organizing mountains of data but, apparently, it occasionally has some trouble organizing itself.

A collection of errors Oct. 18 resulted in a sharp drop of Google stock, a new product website being launched early and CEO Larry Page becoming the joke of the day on Twitter.

The search engine giant, which was supposed to release its earnings after the market closed Thursday, unintentionally filed a disappointing third-quarter earnings report several hours early with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although the company posted a profit of $2.2 billion, earnings missed analyst estimates.

The company’s stock instantaneously dipped by more than nine percent — or $68 a share. Nasdaq paused trading in Google’s shares in the early afternoon at the company’s request. By day’s end, Google’s shares were still down eight percent, but rose one percent in after-hours trading.

Google is pointing its finger at its financial printer, saying R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. released the earnings report several hours too soon. In fact, because the release was such an early version, it was only partly complete. The release said “pending Larry quote” at the top where Google planned to insert a quote from Page.

Donnelley has said it is looking into the slip-up.

But Google is shouldering the blame for other foul-ups Oct. 18.

While hosting a news event to launch its new laptop running the Chrome operating system, Google said it had mistakenly published the website announcing the new laptops before the planned release time.

Also, later in the day, YouTube flaked out for some users — just prior to Google’s planned broadcast of its earnings.

The error-riddled day resulted in a parody Twitter account, @PendingLarry, with several tongue-in-cheek tweets:

• “This is what happens when you submit your report to the SEC via Android.”

• “Somehow, I’ll find a way to blame today’s early release on Apple Maps.”

• “I mean … it’s 4:30 somewhere in the world, right?”

• “First thing I said after SEC filing went out: “Oh, Schmidt!”

During an afternoon conference call with analysts, Page apologized for the “scramble earlier today,” according to several news reports.

“As our printers have said, they hit send on the release jut a bit early,” said Page. “We had a strong quarter and I am very happy with our business.”

Page also assured investors the company is ready to meet its mobile challenges head-on and is shifting its business models to adjust, news reports said.

Page also said the company is looking at some new ways to make money in an ever-expanding mobile market. He said the firm is likely to generate $8 billion in the coming year from mobile, including ads and sales of apps.

Google had surpassed Microsoft Oct. 1 to slide into the second place position behind Apple in market capitalization, making it the world’s No. 2 technology company. Google’s stock had risen more than 30 percent over the summer months due improved earnings.

The search engine giant possesses 66 percent of the U.S. search market, while Microsoft has 16 percent, according to recent ComScore Inc. data. Google could also oust Facebook in the U.S. this year as the top outlet for display advertising, including banner ads, according to EMarketer Inc. Google will also remain at the top for mobile ads in the U.S., EMarketer forecasts.

Google is also dominating the mobile software market with its Android powering 64 percent of Smartphones in the second quarter, up 21 percent from the same period in 2011, according to researcher Gartner Inc. Apple’s software came in at 19 percent and Microsoft at 2.7 percent.



About the author


Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.