The stock was halted until 3:20 p.m. Companies routinely halt trading when they have news to release to investors during the market day, but 21/2 hours is an unusually long suspension.
The embarrassing mix-up prompted Google CEO Larry Page to preface his review of the quarter with an apology during a conference call with analysts.
"I am sorry for the scramble earlier today," Page said, still sounding hoarse from a mysterious throat ailment. The problem left Page unable to speak during the summer, causing him to skip Google's second-quarter earnings call three months ago.
When trading resumed, the stock climbed slightly, but it still finished down $60.49, or 8 percent, at $695.
Google blamed a printing company, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, for filing its quarterly statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission more than three hours ahead of schedule.
The Google report said it earned $2.18 billion from July through September, down from $2.73 billion in the same period a year ago.
Profit came to $6.53 per share, and would have been $9.03 if not for accounting costs from employee stock compensation and restructuring charges related to Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a cellphone maker with operations in Horsham, where it makes set-top boxes for the cable television industry.
Still, analysts polled by FactSet, a provider of financial data, were expecting $10.63 per share.
The broader market fared better: The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 8.06 points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,549.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3.57 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,457.34.
The broader market is "waiting for a clear catalyst," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial.