Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 1:05 pm
Google's stock fell like an Austrian skydiver this afternoon after the Securities and Exchange Commission posted the company's third-quarter earnings news several hours before it was supposed to be on the Web. Somebody apparently screwed up and hit publish even though the news was supposed to be held until after the stock markets close in New York at 4 p.m. ET.
The search engine giant's shares were trading around $687 each — down about 9 percent — before trading was temporarily halted just before 1:30 p.m. ET.
The news in the release isn't so great. Google's "profit declined 20% as total costs jumped and advertising prices continued to slide," as The Wall Street Journal reports.
And then there's this embarrassing issue: An ALL CAPS note at the top of the release says "PENDING LARRY QUOTE." Larry, of course, is Google CEO Larry Page. The line about him has already inspired creation of @pendinglarry on Twitter, which is having much fun with what it is Page "might" be meaning to say, including:
-- "To be fair, we released our earnings yesterday afternoon on Google Plus."
-- "Wanted to get it out there before Kara Swisher 'scooped' us. How's it feel now, Kara?!"
-- "Man, our privacy was WAY violated today."
Update at 3 p.m. ET. One More From @pendinglarry: