Google shares suspended after accidental release, big earnings miss
UPDATE: Google shares regained a little ground as trading resumed at 3.30pm US East Coat time, half an hour before the Nasdaq closed. They finished down 8.01%.
The company has unveiled a new low-cost Chrome laptop, made by Samsung, which will sell for $US249. There was no immediate word on avialability, but previous "Chromebooks" have not been available for NZ. Google hopes the new Chrome laptop's low price will jump-start sales in the category. A Chrome laptop uses Google Apps rather than Microsoft Office, and requires an internet connection to access software and files.
Google shares were suspended earlier today afer the accidental early release of an SEC filing revealed a 20% profit drop against the year-ago period.
The company's shares [NAS:GOOG] dropped 9.03% before before the suspension kicked in.
The results appeared at 12.30pm US Eastern time instead of after the close of the trading day as scheduled.
They showed a third-quarter net profit of $US2.18 billion, down from the year-ago quarter's $US2.78 billion.
Revenue improved to $US11.3 billion, but was shy of the $US11.9 billion analyst consensus.
What caused the miss?
Recent acquisition Motorola Mobility, appearing for the second time in Google quarterly results, weighed on earnings.
The division lost $US527 on $US2.58 billion revenue. Earlier, Google announced a wide-ranging restructure that will involve new management,layoffs and plant closings as Motorola refocuses on high-end smartphones and tablets. Google bought the Motorola cellphone division for its treasure trove of patents, seen as a key asset in its worldwide patent war with Apple.
Pundits also blamed the increasing percentage of mobile ads. Mobile Ad Words yield less than those served to laptop and desktop computers, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Analysts say desktop and laptop search ads peaked earlier this year.
The number of consumers who clicked on ads increased 33% against the year-ago quarter, but the average cost that advertisers paid Google per click fell 15% against the same period.
As for Google's own spin on the results, investors will have to wait until after the market close.
The SEC filing has only a note saying "PENDING LARRY QUOTE."
Yesterday, Google CEO Larry Page made his first public speaking appearance since a mysterious throat ailment struck him in June.
Google said in June that Mr Page was unable to speak because of his illness, but would be back in July.
It provided no health update as he reappeared yesterday.
Separately, Google has released a series of arty pictures of its giant data centres, commissioned from photographer Connie Zhou.
You can see some of the pictures right; others are online here.
Investors may want better results rather than pretty pictures, but from a geek perspective they do look impressive (although NBR would like to see one closer to New Zealand; the nearest is Singapore).