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Google Hit by Weak Results

Google Inc. (GOOG)’s profit and sales are under pressure as the operator of the largest search engine struggles to wring advertising dollars from the growing number of people who surf the Web on tablets and smartphones.

The company yesterday reported third-quarter revenue, minus some items, of $11.3 billion, short of the average estimate for $11.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Third- quarter profit excluding some items was $9.03 a share, below estimated (GOOG) profit of $10.65 a share. The stock tumbled 8 percent after the results were inadvertently released early.

Google, the biggest seller of search-based advertising, hasn’t yet translated to mobile devices the success it’s had with desktop advertising. Ads generated on smartphones can cost about 40 percent less than those on traditional computers and about 25 percent less than on tablets, said Herman Leung, an analyst at Susquehanna International Group.

“The big pressure is actually coming from mobile,” Leung said. “It’s a concern for investors because they just make less on mobile right now.”

Shares of Mountain View, California-based Google fell 1.9 percent to $681.79 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 5.6 percent this year. Google yesterday dropped as much as 11 percent to $676 before the company asked Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. to temporarily halt trading.

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