Palm revenue drops 44 percent

Palm Inc. on Wednesday reported revenue of US$290.6 million for its fiscal second quarter of 2002, ended Nov. 30, down 44 percent from $522.2 million in the same period last year.

The handheld device and operating system company edged past analyst expectations for the quarter, reporting a pro forma net loss of $36.6 million, or $0.06 per share, excluding extraordinary items, the company said in a statement. A year earlier, Palm earned $27.5 million, or $0.05 per share, on a pro forma basis.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call had expected Palm to report a loss of $0.07 per share.

Including extraordinary items, such as excess inventory and amortization of goodwill and intangible assets, the company posted a loss of $25.2 million, or $0.04 per share. This compares to net income of $20.3 million or $0.04 cents per share during the year-earlier quarter.

The figures are slightly above Palm's own estimate late last month that revenue would be between $250 million and $280 million. Palm also announced at the time that it would lay off 250 employees.

The second-quarter revenue also represented a sequential gain of 36 percent from $214.3 million in the preceding quarter, the fiscal first quarter of 2002.

Prior to the announcement, Palm's stock (PALM) gained $0.13, or 4 percent, on Wednesday to close at $3.32 on Nasdaq.