|By Maureen O'Gara||
|October 19, 2012 07:15 AM EDT||
Google Q3 numbers were released early Thursday utterly surprising a market high on its business, which has driven its stock to all-time highs.
It missed big on both the top and bottom line, instantly creating a big sell-off of its high-flown stock, losing $19 billion in market cap, before it was halted at the company's request at $687.30, down roughly 70 bucks or 9%.
It was not clear what was going on and whether the company actually intended an early release since it's unusual for a company like Google to post its numbers during the trading day. The release also looks like a draft with a placeholder for a quote from Larry Page.
A half and hour or so after the crisis broke Google came out and blamed RR Donnell, its filing agent, for sending its 8K to the SEC without authorization. It said it would hold its scheduled conference call at 4:30 New York time. Google never gives guidance.
The stock was still halted an hour or so later with promises it would reopen before the market closed. Because of the halo effect, Facebook dropped in unison with Google.
Anyway, it still appears Google earned $9.03 versus expectations of $10.65 or $6.53 versus $8.33 on sales of $11.33 billion ex tac versus expectations of $11.86 billion.
Profits were down 20%; ad pricing dove while costs rose 71%. The average cost per click fell 15% year-over-year or 3% sequentially. Consumer clicks on Google ads, were up 33%. Paid clicks were up 6% sequentially.
Motorola Mobility, which Google bought for $12.5 billion and has only folded in now, brought in $2.58 billion in revenue, including $1.78 billion from the mobile segment and $797 million from the home segment. Its operating loss was $527 million. Not a happy picture.
Google means to cut Motorola's workforce by 20%.
Page, who disappeared for a while because of some unexplained throat problems, reappeared the other day sounding quite hoarse.