Google's shares fell over $60 or more than 8% on Thursday after the company unexpectedly released its third quarter earnings report in the middle of the day. Usually, Google waits until the market is closed before reporting its quarterly numbers. And if you think Google did this because they couldn't wait to get the good news out, better guess again.
Thursday's action in Google
For the third quarter, Google reported lower earnings of $2.18 billion ($6.53 per share) vs. $2.73 billion ($8.33 per share) a year earlier for a 20.3% year-over-year decline. More importantly, the earnings fell short of Wall Streets expectations for adjusted net of $9.31 a share, instead reporting $9.03 of adjusted net earnings. On the positive side, revenues rose 18.6% to $11.53 billion, topping Wall Street estimates. The outlook for Q4 is for Google to report net of $10.52 a share, down from earlier estimates of $10.61. Wall Street sees Google reporting $37.37 a share in net earnings for 2012, down from earlier predications calling for $37.65.
Google blamed the early release of its earnings on financial printer R.R. Donnelley who accidentally filled Google's 10-K early this morning with the SEC, without authorization. With the report containing the earnings for Q3, Google was forced to go public with the announcement.
During a conference call held by Google after the market closed, Google's Larry Page announced that the company is activating 1.3 million Android devices a day, the same figure announced late last month. There are 500 million Android devices in use. You can listen to the entire call by clicking on the video below.