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Palm Lost $57m, Not $31.5m

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It feels about as mean as kicking a dead horse, but we have more disastrous news to publish on Palm.

The troubled smartphone maker this week has been forced to admit revised losses for its already cataclysmic Q3 financial results. Citing a revaluation of securities affected by the current credit crunch, Palm has now declared a enlarged $57m loss (53 cents per share) for the three months ending 28 February as opposed to the already damaging $31.5m. During the same period last year, the company made a profit of $11,8m.
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Without turning this story into something from the Financial Times (it's pink, but for grown ups), Palm had said it would take a charge for $74m in securities which it lists as cash assets. Problem is their value has subsequently slumped $39m. Oh dear...

On the (marginally) bright side, Palm can point to its sales figures for the period which increased to 833,000 handsets - a 13 per cent improvement on the year ago quarter and a sales record. That said, handset prices and margins are falling faster than Palm is proportionately increasing its sales so, despite the relative success of the Centro (above), the business is heavily in decline.

Couple this with news that no new Treos expected until after the summer, a period when Android handsets and a second generation iPhone are expected to touch down, and I would suggest now is not a good time to invest in Palm shares...


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