Auto and transportation giant Daimler AG issued financial results 12 hours ahead of schedule Wednesday, becoming the second major company this month to do so.
A release headlined "Daimler's earnings once again at a high level" was sent out by e-mail to about 50 reporters globally early Wednesday afternoon, about 12 hours ahead of the scheduled release of 1:30 a.m. ET Thursday.
Daimler sent out an e-mail containing a news release with third-quarter and nine-month financial results at 12:40 p.m. ET and followed it up two minutes later with an e-mail asking recipients to ignore the 12:40 e-mail. At 12:45, the company sent out an e-mail saying the news release was not valid.
"This is not the final figures yet," Daimler spokeswoman Andrea Berg said in a telephone interview. "I sent this by mistake and it's not to be published as it is and the release will go out tonight around 1:30 a.m."
The issuance of a news release by Daimler came less than a week after a similar error by tech giant Google Inc., which surprised markets last Thursday with an inadvertent premature release of third-quarter results that were below expectations and roiled stock markets.
In the release, Daimler chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche warned that the company's full-year annual earnings before interest and taxes will not match those of 2011, "but will still post good earnings once again."
The 12:40 news release showed earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) falling 2 per cent in the three months ended Sept. 30 to €1.92-billion ($2.48-billion U.S.) from €1.97-billion.
For the first nine months of 2012, EBIT fell 4 per cent to €6.29-billion from €6.58-billion, the statement said..
Sales of Mercedes-Benz cars and Daimler trucks grew during the quarter despite what the company called difficult conditions in some markets.
Revenue rose 8 per cent, but higher expenses caused by growth in Mercedes-Benz car offerings and a "product offensive" at Daimler trucks caused the drop in EBIT.
Sales of Mercedes-Benz cars set a third-quarter record of 345,000. Sales of Daimler trucks rose 3 per cent to 119,100 vehicles.