Google stock plunges: Report shows 21% earnings decline year-over-year

Mac Slavo, |

Following the trend of shipping company Fedex, the largest advertising venue in the world is showing signs of strain in a weakening global economy.

Google Inc., whose accounting firm mistakenly released their quarterly report prematurely, saw a 9% tumble in the share of their stock today after weaker than expected earnings.

It’s not clear why Google’s results were posted in a regulatory filing early, but the weaker-than-expected top- and bottom-line figures threatened to leave the stock with its steepest one-day decline since the 2008 financial crisis.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company said it earned $2.18 billion, or $6.53 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $2.73 billion, or $8.33 a share, a year earlier.

Year-over-year Google saw a 21% decline in earnings.

While the company indicates more businesses are advertising with them, they are no longer willing to pay as much per click to drive visitors to their web sites:

Google said its paid clicks jumped 33% year-over-year and 6% from the second quarter. However, the average cost per click declined 15% annually and 3% from the second quarter.

We may be able to attribute this to just a single bad quarter, but given that the US economy has more than likely already slid back into recession according to some analysts, it would make sense that Google is starting to feel the pressure of a small business user base that is struggling to survive.

With consumers being more careful about how they spend their money due to concerns about the job market and price inflation that is affecting not only retail customers but manufacturers and distributors as well, Google’s small business customers are no longer able to pay as much for advertising expenditures as they were five years ago.

After Fedex’s poor showing last quarter in which they cited weakening global economic conditions surrounding their global shipping business, and Google’s results now suggesting that advertisers are paying 15% less this year for attracting visitors to their web sites than in 2011, the tell-tale signs of an economy on the brink are becoming more apparent.

Google’s stock just saw its largest one day decline since the meltdown of 2008. Are traders on Wall Street getting nervous and no longer believing the hype about a strong recovery?

It doesn’t take much to cause a Wall Street panic as we’ve seen repeatedly throughout history — and panic is exactly what we saw on Wall Street today.

Is this an isolated incident currently being managed and controlled by the plunge protection team with happy days soon to return? Or is this just the beginning?