Palm Shows Growth For Q3

Executives at handheld computer maker Palm were giving each other high-fives around the office late Thursday.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company with the new split personality said it had just recorded a $2.9 million net profit – or a penny-per-share – for its third quarter, which ended March 1.

That was still not good enough for the company’s bottom line, which showed a loss of $14 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with a profit of $9.3 million, or 2 cents per share, for the third quarter of 2001. A smattering of analysts from Thompson’s First Call had estimated somewhere between 2 cents to 7 cents

Except for some inventory costs, the company reported revenues of $292.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2002, ended March 1, up 1 percent from the $290.6 million reported in the preceding fiscal quarter and down 38 percent from the $470.8 million reported for the comparable period last year.

“We’re pleased to report our third consecutive quarter of improved financial results, despite the traditional post holiday seasonal slowdown,” said Palm’s chairman and CEO Eric Benhamou. “Tangible progress across virtually every aspect of our income statement and balance sheet gives us increased confidence in our ability to execute and to return to profitability.”

The No. 1 handheld computer maker said its data included its spin-off software division PalmSource.

This was the quarter that Palm debuted its i705 wireless handheld device.

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