updated 05:25 pm EDT, Thu June 26, 2008
Palm Spring 2008 Loss
Palm today reported a loss in the last quarter of its financial year that suggests a continued downturn at the company despite recent efforts to improve the company's lineup. The smartphone maker reported a year-over-year change from a $15.4 million net gain in spring 2007 to a $43.4 million loss in the latest quarter, while the company posted a significant $110.9 million loss for the past 12 months. Roughly a third of the loss could be attributed to restructuring charges as well as stocks and patents.
The loss comes in spite of record smartphone shipments at Palm, which sold through 968,000 phones in the year, or 19 percent more than it did during the same season in 2007. The spike is credited almost exclusively to the budget Centro smartphone, which is commonly accepted as having partly saved the company and surged marketshare at the expense of sorely-needed profit margins at the company. Palm has previously depended on its more lucrative but poorer-selling Treo line for profit.
The California firm says it believes that the launch of some long-anticipated Windows Mobile-based phones will help the company return back to profit. Most expect these will include the Treo 800w for Sprint and Verizon as well as the Treo 850 for AT&T, though both are considered stopgap measures until Palm can release its Linux-based PalmOS replacement and matching phones in 2009.