New York: Google shares plummeted 8 percent after the company published its third quarter earnings report more than three hours ahead of schedule.
Google's report was scheduled to come after the market closed at 4 pm. Instead, a filing was made around 12.30 pm.
"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," R R Donnelley, one of its contractor, said in a statement.
Google's net income in the third quarter of 2012 stood at USD 2.18 billion, compared to USD 2.73 billion in the third quarter of 2011.
The consolidated revenues of Google stood at USD 14.10 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, an increase of 45 percent compared to the third quarter of 2011.
The 8 percent plunge in Google's stock price erased about USD 20 billion in shareholder wealth. The stock lost USD 60.49 and closed at USD 695 per scrip.
Meanwhile, the company said it witnessed a decline in its headcount level, which fell to 53,546 full-time employees (36,118 in our Google business and 17,428 in our Motorola business) as of September 30, 2012, compared to 54,604 full-time employees as of June 30, 2012.