Google shares fell again on Friday – just 24 hours after $24 billion was lost from the company’s value.
Another $5 billion was wiped from Google as the stock fell once again on the back of a dire set of financial results.
The crash in its share price – due to a shock fall in the amount paid by advertisers – sent ripples through Wall Street, hitting other firms in the same sector.
Shares in Apple, the only technology company larger than Google in market value, fell by around 2.8% during trading.
Facebook, which is another technology stock heavily dependent on advertising for its revenues, saw its shares fall by 0.5% during trading.
The Dow Jones index of trading on Wall Street dipped more than 200 points.
Google’s humiliation began when its figures for the last three months were released prematurely on Thursday afternoon.
It revealed that profits had fallen by a fifth in the last three months – sending shares plunging, closing at $695.
Last night it was down a further 2.5% during trading to around $677.
Google blamed its printers for releasing the results by accident. Speculation was mounting on Friday night that Google could make a legal claim against R.R. Donnelley, the company it pays to put out its financial results.
Google shares’ trading was suspended for two-and-a-half hours after the internet giant released its third-quarter results early by mistake.
Its quarterly profits fell 20% from a year earlier to $2.18 billion – below analysts’ expectations.
Google blamed financial printing firm RR Donnelley for filing an early draft of the results, which had been expected after the closing bell.
Shares in Google were down 9% when trading in the stock was suspended.
When trading resumed, the shares recovered slightly to end the day 8% lower.
Google chief executive Larry Page apologized to analysts on a conference call after the market closed.
“I’m sorry for the scramble earlier today,” he said, adding that the company had had a strong quarter.
In a statement after the inadvertent release, Google said: “Earlier this morning RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorization.
“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 PST.”
Google chief executive Larry Page apologized to analysts on a conference call after the market closed
The company’s draft results statement, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, was published at 09:30 Pacific time (16:30 GMT), three-and-a-half hours ahead of schedule.
It says “PENDING LARRY QUOTE” at the beginning, referring to chief executive Larry Page and indicating that it was not ready for publication.
Its final results statement, published at 12:00 Pacific time (19:00 GMT), included the following quotation from Larry Page: “We had a strong quarter. Revenue was up 45% 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.”
Net revenue rose to $11.3 billion from $7.5 billion, but was still below forecasts.
Including websites that generate traffic for Google’s ads, revenue rose 45% to $14.1 billion.
The slide in Google’s share price took the company’s market value back down below that of Microsoft, which it had overtaken earlier this month.
Joe Saluzzi from Themis Trading said: “You can’t make those mistakes any more.”
He added: “Mistake or not, the earnings are earnings. The problem is when this happens in the middle of the day, there is no time for a conference call to massage it, there is no time for analysts’ questions and for an evaluation.”
Google completed the purchase of the loss-making mobile phone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion earlier this year and has been struggling to turn the firm around.
Costs related to the acquisition – for employee stock compensation and restructuring charges – knocked Google’s overall results, as did the strong dollar.
The company said that if foreign exchange rates had been unchanged, its revenue would have been $136 million higher.