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Is this the beginning of the end of Google?

Google loses $26 billion due to premature report

RT | Google Inc’s saw its shares crash by 9%, erasing about $26 billion off the company’s market value after its quarterly result, which fell below Wall Street’s expectations, were accidentally released early.

Trading of Google stock was halted after the shares had fallen as much as 10.5%. “We have ceased trading on NASDAQ while we work to finalize the document,” the company said in a statement, stressing it would release its full report “once it’s finalized.”

The third-quarter revenue was about $11.3 billion, short of the average estimate for $11.8 billion, according to Google’s report. It grew 15% to $7.73 billion from the same period a year earlier, less than half the growth Google reported in at the same period in 2011.

The company’s growth has slowed down as the world’s largest seller of online ads struggles to adjust its advertising to tablets and smart phones. The number of advertisers paid each time a user clicks on a advertisement dropped about 15% from a year earlier, and was 3% down from the prior period, according to the report.

Google’s CEO Larry Page apologized for the “scramble” caused by the accidental release. Google blamed financial printing company R.R. Donnelley & Sons for the early release of the earnings report that resulted in a drop in tech stocks across the market, with the Nasdaq Composite falling 1%.

R.R. Donnelley said it’s investigating the issue. “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,” the company said in a statement.

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