Handheld Computer Maker Palm Reports Loss

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Palm Inc., the maker of handheld electronic devices, Thursday reported a loss in its latest quarter, as it continues to contend with the technology slowdown.

Palm posted a loss of $172.3 million, or $5.93 a share, on revenue of $209 million, compared with a profit last year of $2.95 million, or 10 cents a share, on revenue of $293 million for the fiscal third quarter.

The latest quarter included a host of charges for restructuring, downsizing and laying off workers. Excluding those charges, Palm's loss amounted to $26.5 million, or 91 cents a share - in line with analysts' expectations.

Third-quarter revenue exceeded the consensus estimate of $207.8 million.

Just two weeks ago, Palm lowered its revenue forecast to $205 million to $210 million from $230 million to $250 million, citing weak demand. Analysts at the time expected sales of $241.5 million, according to Thomson First Call.

During the third quarter, Palm recorded restructuring charges of $40.2 million related to real estate, along with severance payments stemming from several rounds of job cuts and other items for downsizing Palm Solutions Group and PalmSource, the two groups that make up Palm. The company has been struggling amid the computer industry's slump.

Palm recorded impairment charges of $102.5 million to reflect current fair market value of land in San Jose.

Shares of Palm closed Thursday at $10.89, down 25 cents, or 2 percent, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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