An accidental email containing Google’s incomplete financial report was sent to the US stock market ahead of scheduled revealing that the internet giant missed growth forecasts. It caused a wave of stunned investors to rush to sell their Google stocks at up to eight percent lower prices, until trading was suspended on the stocks.
Larry Page, Google’s chief executive, has said of the incident: “I’m sorry for the scramble earlier today. Our printers said they pressed send on the release a bit early.” Google then asked Nasdaq to halt trading on its shares while the company finalised and released the correct document.
The document revealed that while Google’s consolidated revenue grew as much as 45 percent in the third quarter, its net income dropped by 20 percent, reflecting the persistent decrease in online advert prices and the costs from the company’s take over of Motorola Mobility.
Google shares had already plummeted around 10 percent by the time Nasdaq halted trading, and though it partially recovered later in the day, the error wiped-out as much as half the price increase for the whole year to date.
Adding to the confusion, Nasdaq’s website crashed from the volume of investors rushing to check the value of their stocks.