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Palm makes Q1 sales gains

Better than last year, less so than last quarter

Palm saw sales rise year-on-year during its most recently completed quarter, the PDA maker said yesterday. However, sales remained effectively flat over the previous quarter.

Revenue for the three months to 2 September 2005 - the first quarter of Palm's fiscal 2006 - totalled $342.2m; up 23 per cent on Q1 FY2005's figure but only 1.9 per cent above the previous quarter's $335.8m.

Net income was $18.2m (35 cents a share), up from $17.7m (35 cents a share) last quarter but below Q1 FY2005's $19.6m (38 cents a share).

Treo shipments were up 160 per cent on the year-ago quarter to 470,000 units, Palm said, but only 1.1 per cent above the previous quarter's total, we note. The upcoming arrival of the Windows Mobile-based and thus more corporate-friendly Treo 470w should help boost the current quarter's shipments, if it arrives in time.

Looking ahead, Palm said it expects Q2's revenues to come in the $435-440m range, up 27.1-28.6 per cent on Q1's total. Gross margins will reach 30.0-30.5 per cent, it added. No doubt it's hoping to cash in on the upcoming but as yet unannounced Z22 and T|X consumer and professional PDAs in the run up the Thanksgiving in the US and Christmas everywhere.

If all goes to plan, the company said, it will receive $240-250m in one-off tax benefits which will push up the company's bottom line significantly. ®

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