SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google Inc’s quarterly results fell well short of Wall Street’s expectations after its core advertising business slowed, stunning investors accustomed to consistently rapid growth from the Internet giant and wiping more than 9 percent off its market value.
The disappointing numbers on Thursday came hours ahead of schedule in a rare instance of premature filing. Google blamed the misfire on an unauthorized filing by its financial printers, RR Donnelley & Sons Co, and later confirmed the numbers’ accuracy.
The earnings report, which had not been expected until after the market close, revealed a weakening in Google’s core Internet advertising business and persistent losses at its recently acquired cellphone business, Motorola Mobility.
Shares of Google, the world’s No. 1 Internet search engine, finished Thursday’s regular trading session down 8 percent at $695 after a brief trading halt. Some analysts said the inadvertent results release spurred confusion and exacerbated its stock price decline.
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