Google blames premature earnings release on RR Donnelley

Stock plummets after early release of quarterly earnings by financial printer. No word yet on how this occurred.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper

Mistakes happen but this one was a doozy.

Around midday today Google's third-quarter earnings hit the wire several hours early. Financial results for publicly held companies normally get released after the close of trading.

So who screwed up? Google's blaming RR Donnelley & Sons.

"Earlier this morning RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorization," a Google representative said. "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 Pacific Time."

However, it's unclear how the release got out prematurely. The announcement included a notation, "PENDING LARRY QUOTE" referring to CEO Larry Page.

Larry Fitzgerald, a spokesman for Donnelley, said the company was "fully engaged in an investigation to determine how this event took place and are pursuing our first obligation -- which is to serve our valued customer."