Google earnings fiasco hurts Internet ETFs

The company's early report release and subsequent trading halt ripple throughout the markets.

By Benzinga Oct 18, 2012 3:16PM

Image: Arrow Down (ImageSource/PictureQuest)By The ETF Professor, Benzinga Staff Writer


At least two exchange-traded funds with large Google (GOOG) allocations were trading lower Thursday after the botched early release of the company's third-quarter earnings and the surprisingly slack results included therein.


The First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (FDN) was off 1.8% in afternoon trading on volume that was at least 20% higher than usual. The fund, which has $504.6 million in assets under management, allocates nearly 11% of its weight to Google. To be precise, the ETF's weight to Google is 10.66%, which is well above the 7.38% allocated to Amazon (AMZN), FDN's No. 2 holding.


The smaller PowerShares NASDAQ Internet Portfolio (PNQI) was also suffering in the wake of the Google earnings miss. That ETF was off 2.1% on volume that was more than 50% higher than usual.


Shares of Google traded at around $755 at the time of the early earnings release, found in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, before plunging as low as $676. The company then requested that shares be halted.


Google showed a profit of $9.03 per share, well below the $10.65 per share analysts expected. Google was scheduled to report those results Thursday after the close of U.S. markets. Paid clicks on advertisements Google carried rose 33% year-over-year and 6% from the second quarter.


Revenue was $11.33 billion, well below the $11.86 billion analysts expected. In a sign that Google's most important revenue driver, the paid clicks on advertisements, is slowing, the company said that metric tumbled by 15% in the third quarter from the year-earlier period. 


Google's earnings miss also weighed on shares of Baidu (BIDU), often referred to as the Google of China. That stock was down 2.1%. Google and Baidu are PNQI's two largest holdings, combining for almost 16.4% of the ETF's weight. PNQI has $51.9 million in assets under management.


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