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Surprise!Google’s earnings are out early and they are well short of expectations.

EPS came in at $9.03 versus expectations of $10.65.

Revenue is $11.33 billion versus expectations of $11.83 billion.

The stock tanked, falling 10%. It has been halted because Google is finalising the earnings release, which came out prematurely.

Google wasn’t ready for this release. At the top of Google’s current filing, it says “PENDING LARRY QUOTE.”

The earnings leaked because Google’s partner R.R. Donnelley filed the 8K without authorization, says Google. (RR Donelley is now down 4%.) R.R. Donnelley gets Google’s earnings, then prints them to the SEC.

Regardless of the leak, the numbers are out and they are worse than expected.

Our own Henry Bodget has a detailed analysis of what went wrong with Google’s earnings. He attributes the worse than expected performance to lousy numbers from Motorola. 

The core business, says Blodget, was about in line with expectations. The core business had $11.4 billion in gross revenue versus expectations of $11.5 billion, and adjusted operating profit was $3.95 billion versus expectations of $4.1 billion.

Motorola, meanwhile, did $2.6 billion in revenue versus expectations of $2.9 billion. It also had adjusted losses of -$151 million, versus expectations of -$28 million.

For this reason, Blodget thinks Google is actually doing alright, despite the big miss. The core business is doing what people expect. It’s the terrible Motorola division that’s dragging everything down. And while this is bad, it’s not entirely surprising. Most people knew Motorola was going to be a big challenge. It just might be an even bigger challenge than expected.

Below are some of the key numbers from the release.

  • Site revenue: $7.73 billion.
  • Paid clicks: Up 33% on a year over year basis, and up 6% on a sequential basis.
  • Cost per clicks: Down 15% on a year over year basis, and down 3% on a sequential basis.
  • Traffic acquisitions costs: $2.77 compared to $2.21 for same period a year ago.
  • Motorola revenue: $2.58 billion. $1.78 billion from the mobile segment and $797 million from the home segment. (Analyst expectations were ~$2.9 billion, according to Citi’s Mark Mahaney.)
  • Motorola operating loss: $527 million ($505 million for the mobile segment and $22 million for the home segment)
  • Other cost of revenues: This was a big jump going to $3.78 billion for the quarter, up from $1.17 billion the year prior. Here’s how Google defines other cost of revenues: “primarily of data centre operational expenses, amortization of intangible assets, content acquisition costs, credit card processing charges, and manufacturing and inventory-related costs”
  • Free cash flow for the quarter: $3.3 billion
  • Total cash on hand: $45.7 billion
  • Headcount: “On a worldwide basis, we employed 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.”

More to come…

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