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Palm Pares 250 Staffers, Airs Q2 Guidance

The whirlwinds of streamlining continue for Santa Clara, Calif.'s Palm Inc., which trimmed 250 more workers from its staff Wednesday and outlined second quarter fiscal guidance.

The leading handheld maker said it did this to better align resources for its divided Platforms and Solutions businesses. Specifically, it reduced its current work force by "approximately 250 employees and contractors, after accounting for the planned hiring of people with skill sets to match the future needs of Palm's Solutions and Platform Solutions groups." Cuts were made in IT, finance and human resource departments.

On the fiscal side of things, Palm said it expects to post revenues of between $250 million and $280 million, which is toward the upper end of prior guidance. The firm also expects to meet consensus analyst estimates, with a pro forma loss of approximately 7 cents per share.

"We are pleased to report an improvement in our revenue outlook," said Eric Benhamou, chairman of the board and presently chief executive officer of Palm. "Palm is executing better than a few months ago in both of our core businesses. And we are now in a position to further reduce our cost structure. Together, these favorable factors will accelerate our return to profitability."

Benhamou recently took over as Palm's skipper after Carl Yankowski's exodus three weeks ago.

Wednesday's news is the latest in business adjustments Palm has been hashing out over the last six months, including the division of its Platforms (deals with the outfit's operating system) and Solutions (deals with products) works into two separate entities.

Palm credited Todd Bradley, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Palm's Solutions Group, by stating that he and his team "aggressively re-engineered business operations" to reduce costs and implement faster product development cycles.

The oft-downsizing firm, which laid off workers in April, over the summer, and as recently as earlier this month, recently celebrated its successful acquisition of Be Inc. for $11 million in stock.

Palm, which said Tuesday that it would kill its MyPalm.com wireless portal, expects to report final results for the second quarter on Dec. 19.