Palm narrows fourth-quarter loss

Palm shattered analyst estimates for its 2003 fourth quarter with a narrower-than-expected loss.

Palm shattered analyst estimates for its 2003 fourth quarter with a narrower-than-expected loss.

The company posted a fourth-quarter net loss for the period 31 May of $15m on revenue of $225.8m, according to generally accepted accounting principles standards, compared with a net loss of $27.5m on revenue of $233.3m for the same period the previous year.

"The handheld industry is continuing its recovery," said Eric Benhamou, chairman and interim chief executive officer. "Our focus on innovative solutions and operating discipline is paying off."

the better-than-expected results were driven by strong sales of Palm's Tungsten C and Zire 71 products, which were launched in April, said Judy Bruner, senior vice president and chief financial officer. The company had been unsure how quickly those products would affect Palm's bottom line but was pleasantly surprised by demand for the handhelds.

Palm shipped 931,000 Palm handhelds in the fourth quarter, for a total of 4.2 million units shipped during its 2003 financial year, it said. The company shipped about one million handhelds in its fiscal 2003 third quarter.

For the full year, Palm's revenue was down 15% from 2002 to $871.9m. The company posted a GAAP net loss of $442.6m for 2003, compared with a loss of $82.2m for 2002.

Palm expects first-quarter revenue for 2004 to be between $175m and $185 m, down sequentially because of seasonal trends.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service



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