Google Pares Losses, Rallies Into Close…Sort Of

Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) wild Thursday ride concluded with the stock rallying into the close, trimming losses that saw the stock down as much as 11 percent earlier in the session. The shares were halted per the company’s request after a massive spike downward following the premature release of the Internet search giant’s third-quarter earnings.

The stock was trading at $755 just before the earnings gaffe. An 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed Google’s third-quarter results. Google would later chide auditor R.R. Donnelley (NYSE: RRD) for releasing the third-quarter numbers without permission.

The company showed a profit of $9.03 per share, well below the $10.65 per share analysts expected. California-based Google was scheduled to report those results today after the close of U.S. markets. Paid clicks on advertisements Google carries rose 33 percent year-over-year and six percent from the second quarter.

Revenue was $11.33 billion, well below the $11.86 billion analysts expected. In a sign that Google’s most important revenue driver, the paid clicks on advertisements, is slowing, the company said that metric tumbled by 15 percent in the third-quarter from the year-earlier period.

Shares of Google closed down $60.07, or 7.95 percent, to finish at $695.42. Volume in the stock was more than quadruple the daily average. The shares are little changed in Thursday’s after-hours session. R.R. Donnelley was off nine cents, or 0.83 percent, to settle at $10.76. Volume was more than quadruple the daily average in that name as well.

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