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Palm slightly exceeds lowered Q4 revenue estimates

Palm has reported fourth-quarter financial figures that exceeded its expectation.

The handheld device maker reported revenues of $233m (£153m) for the fourth quarter ended 31 May, after announcing expectations of about $230m (£151m) in revenues on 30 May.

The company had earlier set a revenue target between $290m to $300m for the quarter but it reduced because of slower than expected sales and other factors.

The fourth-quarter revenues are 41% higher than the $165m in revenue reported in the same quarter a year ago.

Under US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Palm posted a net loss of $27m (£18m) for the fourth quarter, or five cents per share, compared with a net loss of $392m, or 69 cents per share, a year ago.

The company's pro forma operating loss was $16m (£10.5m) for the quarter, after a reduction in special excess inventory costs, amortisation of intangible assets, costs associated with separating into two companies and a restructuring charge.

The company's pro forma net loss was $18m (£12m), or three cents per share, for the quarter, compared with a net loss of $89m, or 16 cents per share, the previous year.

"Palm executed quite well in a down market," said Eric Benhamou, Palm chairman and chief executive officer. "Over the quarter, our pro forma gross margins grew to nearly 35%, we generated positive cash flow from operations, and channel inventory remained within our desired range."

For the entire 2002 financial year, Palm reported revenue of $1.03bn (£680m), down 34% from the $1.56bn reported for the 2001 financial year.

The company's GAAP net loss for the full financial year was $82m (£54m), or 14 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $356m, or 63 cents per share, last year.

The company's pro forma net loss for the current financial year was $107m (£70.4m), or 19 cents per share, compared with a pro forma net loss of $29m, or five cents per share, in 2001.

Palm shipped about 900,000 handheld devices in the past quarter, bringing the total shipped in 2002 to more than 4.4 million, according to the company.

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