Trading in Google shares has been suspended on the US market after the early release of draft records indicating a 20% drop in profits for the third quarter.

The value of shares on the NASDAQ fell by 9% before trading in the stock was suspended.

Google has blamed a financial printing firm for releasing its earnings.

The record filed shows profits dropped to $2.18bn (€1.7bn) in the three months to the end of September, compared to the previous year.

Companies typically release results either before trading opens or after the market closes.

This gives investors time to scrutinise the financial reports and company statements before making trading decisions.

The filing made by the company to the stock exchange contains the line "pending Larry quote".

The reference appears to be to Larry Page, Google's chief executive.

A Google spokesperson said: "Earlier this morning RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorization.

"We have ceased trading on NASDAQ while we work to finalize the document.

"Once it's finalized we will release our earnings, resume trading on NASDAQ and hold our earnings call as normal at 1:30 Pacific Time."