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Thursday, 21 March, 2002, 23:28 GMT
Palm creates renewed tech cheer
Palm is embroiled in a price war with Handspring
Palm, the world's leading handheld computer maker, has said that it is inching closer to profitability.

The group reported a loss of $14m in the three months to the end of February, excluding the effects of a special excess inventory and restructuring charges.

This compared to a profit of $9.3m in the same three months a year earlier.

But the group's revenues were ahead of expectations and it issued an upbeat statement:

"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," said the group's chairman and chief executive Eric Benhamou.

Investor applause

The company has been suffering from a sales slump, increased competition and a price war with its rival Handspring.

They are going in the right direction and look like they are going to hit their milestones

Tony Sepenzis
The group's revenues were over a third lower than during the same three months the previous year.

But, despite the fall, Palm's revenues were ahead of analyst expectations and helped create renewed cheer in the battered technology sector.

Palm's sales amounted to $293m during the three month period, about $40m more than analysts had been expecting.

"They are going in the right direction, taking baby steps and look like they are going to hit their milestones," said Tom Sepenzis, an analyst at CIBC World Markets.

Palm stock soared on the news, rising 6% to $3.17.

See also:

24 Sep 01 | dot life
Gadgets get fruity
19 Dec 01 | Business
Palm losses widen
06 Mar 02 | Business
Palm adverts 'deceptive'
10 Jan 02 | Sci/Tech
Phones and handhelds get closer
08 Nov 01 | Business
Palm CEO resigns
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