Shares in Google were suspended for two hours after the internet search giant accidently leaked their third quarter results early, revealing a 20 per cent drop in profits. Stock in the company dropped by nine per cent upon the premature announcement of the results, though when trading resumed before the market closed it was eight per cent down.

The company's revenue for the past three months was £1.35bn, below analysts' expectations. Google has blamed financial printing firm PR Donnelly for releasing a draft of the results without authorisation. Coming before the closing bell three and a half hours ahead of schedule, the statement says "pending Larry Quote". That's a reference to Google chief executive Larry Page, and indicates the document was not ready for publication.

Reuters columnist Rob Cryan said the chaotic release of the results had led to the huge drop in value.

"Google's mobile operations had a horrible result. They had a loss of about $500 million. That's bad on two reasons. First, Google will have to spend some time fixing it. And second is management could be distracted."

Page has tried to limit the damage by apologising to analysts after the market closed. It is thought one of the reasons for the drop in profits was the company's struggle to turn around Motorola Mobility, the phone company they bought for $12.5bn earlier this year.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner