Google Says R.R. Donnelley Released Earnings Early

Glitch sent shares down 9% before trading was halted.

Google Inc. blamed financial printing company R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. for the premature release of results that showed a profit shortfall, caused shares to plunge and made Chief Executive Officer Larry Page the brunt of jokes shared widely on Twitter Inc.

The company’s third-quarter results were filed with regulators and made available to news wires with a placeholder for a quote from Page at about 12:30 p.m. in New York. R.R. Donnelley had filed a draft of the document without authorization, Google later said on its blog.

Microsoft’s Numbers

Google isn’t the only company to have its results released before planned. Microsoft Corp.’s earnings were released more than an hour before schedule in January 2011, after Selerity Inc., a New Jersey market-information company, used software it developed to obtain Microsoft’s press release from a public area of the software maker’s site.

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