Turns out Google's ( GOOG) investor day didn't go as smoothly as it seemed. The Mountain View, Calif., search engine
got glowing reviews last week after it hosted Wall Street analysts at an investor day session. People who attended came away impressed with the company's sudden urge to share information. But a regulatory filing late Tuesday says Google didn't actually mean to divulge some details of its advertising-driven growth. "On March 2, 2006, Google Inc. posted its Analyst Day presentations on its Investor Relations Web site," Google said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday afternoon. "The initial posting inadvertently contained certain annotated comments not intended to be presented at Analyst Day." Google says the forbidden fruit of that meeting included a revenue-growth projection -- Google says that consistent with past practice, it isn't providing revenue guidance -- and an estimate of the size of the company's stock compensation costs. Google disavowed the advertising revenue commentary, in which the company said it was "on a strong trajectory -- projected to grow from $6bn this year to $9.5bn next year based purely on trends in traffic and monetization growth," and that margins in its AdSense business were being squeezed. If those comments got much play on Wall Street, it wasn't apparent from a brief perusal of analyst day press coverage, which showed no reference to the AdSense margin question. Nonetheless, Google was contrite in its filing Tuesday. "The statements regarding $9.5 billion in 2006 ad revenue and AdSense margins were not speaker notes prepared for the Analyst Day presentation, and were inadvertently included in the Analyst Day slides," Google said. "These statements were instead speaker notes prepared early in the fourth quarter of 2005 for an internal product strategy presentation. These notes were not created for financial planning purposes, and should not be regarded as financial guidance. Consistent with past practice, Google is not providing revenue guidance. In addition, the statement with respect to AdSense margins does not reflect Google's current expectations." The company didn't disavow the stock-compensation remarks, though they too were "inadvertently included in the Analyst Day slides," Google adds. "However, the statement regarding the stock-based compensation charge of $342 million, which relates to stock awards granted to employees and directors prior to 2006, is a materially accurate reflection of Google's current expectations." Late Tuesday, Google slid $10.13 to $354.32.