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Donnelley Gaffe Sends Google Stock Plunging

October 19, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO—RR Donnelley found itself in the national spotlight Thursday when it mistakenly filed an early draft of Google's quarterly earnings report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hours earlier than planned. The report revealed dismal third-quarter profits, sending the search engine's stock price down more than $68 a share, or nine percent, before NASDAQ halted its trading in the early afternoon. Trading on Google resumed later in the day.

Donnelley saw its own shares slide by 5.6 percent before recovering. The indication that the earnings report should have been held was the second paragraph of the release, which read, "Pending Larry quote," an apparent reference to an as yet-produced quote attributable to Google CEO Larry Page. The report was supposed to have been released after market close.

Google earned $9.03 a share (excluding certain items), far below the $10.65 target analysts had expected. It filed an amended report with the SEC, with Page characterizing it as a "strong quarter."

Meanwhile, the printer told Printing Impressions it was trying to determine what went wrong.

"We are 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," said Doug Fitzgerald, a Donnelley spokesman.

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