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3Com wrongfooted analysts yesterday by posting Q1 net income 38 per cent up on the same period last year. The Street had anticipated flat year-on-year earnings. The profits leap had more to do with cost-cutting, or "operational improvements "than with soaring sales. The company's commodity NIC and modem businesses are continuing their journey south, with sales at $539 million, a 19 per cent decline on Q1 last year. High end sales of switches, hubs, remote access concentrators, routers and network management software are up 9 per cent to $674.2 million from a year ago. Good, but not quite good enough, in a high growth market. Meanwhile Palm salesjumped 50 per cent to $174 million. Last week, 3Com announced its intention to spin-out this division. ®

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