Palm laughs in face of PC panic

Slump! What Slump?

Palm gloated over its fourth straight quarter of triple digit sales growth today.

The Californian handheld maker recorded $20.3 million net income, after goodwill, for its fiscal Q2 ended December 1. This compares with $12.9 million for the same period last year. Sales were a record $522.2 million, up 102 per cent from last time's $258.6 million.

More than 2.1 million handhelds were shipped in the second quarter - up 45 per cent sequentially, and bringing total shipments of the gadgets to 10.9 million units.

"Palm is continuing to delight its customers with the products and services that they need and want," said Palm CEO Carl Yankowski.

"Strong overall demand in the United States and the international markets for Palm branded handheld products, add-ons, accessories and services together with solid supply chain management enabled us to reach a $2 billion a year sales run-rate during our first year as an independent public company."

The company also announced it would spend between $40 million and $45 million to buy Portland, Oregon-based WeSync. Its software, which will be integrated into the MyPalm portal due out on Christmas Day, will let Palm owners keep track of more than one calendar on their handhelds. The deal is expected to close within Palm's fiscal Q3.

Palm's earnings announcement comes amid a seemingly endless stream of profit warnings and doom and gloom from the PC industry. Today eMachines said its losses would be worse than expected due to a slump in PC demand and too much inventory in the channel.

In the past months Compaq, Apple, Dell, Gateway, Intel and Microsoft have all issued similar statements. ®

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