Printers' error forces suspension of Google shares

Trading in Google shares was suspended for several hours in New York when the group announced a dramatic drop in profits, causing an immediate slide in its valuation.

It appears the company inadvertently released the figures early – the results documents, released to the Nasdaq exchange included a note, "PENDING LARRY QUOTE", suggesting the document was still awaiting the input of CEO Larry Page. The company blamed its printers.

A halt was put on the stock when it fell 10 per cent after the release of third-quarter figures, which showed a 20 per cent profit fall. Net income at the company was down 20 per cent to $2.1bn (£1.3bn), while net revenues were reported at $11.3bn.

Later in the afternoon trading on Google was reinstated. Shares in the company finished 8 per cent down, wiping billions off Google's value.