PalmOne Earnings Beat Expectations

Handheld computer maker palmOne Inc. (PLMO) said Thursday that profit surged 33 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, beating Wall Street's expectations.

The Milipitas, Calif.-based company said the increase was fueled by sales of its Treo smart phone and other products. PalmOne also forecast first-quarter revenue above analysts' expectations.

"All in all, we're firing on all fronts," said PalmOne Ed Colligan, who also said the company would change its name to Palm on July 14.

PalmOne agreed in May to pay PalmSource Inc. (PSRC), the company it spun off in 2003, $30 million over 3 1/2 years for its 55 percent share of the Palm trademark.

Shares of palmOne rose $1.16, or 3.9 percent, to $30.91 on the Nasdaq Stock Market (search).

For the three months ended May 31, palmOne earned $17.7 million, or 35 cents per share, up from $13.3 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier. The company said it would have earned $19.2 million, or 37 cents per share, after excluding non-operating items such as deferred stock-based compensation, employee separation costs and restructuring charges.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 31 cents per share on sales of $332.3 million.

Revenue jumped 26 percent to $335.8 million from $267.3 million in last year's fourth quarter. The company said sales of its Treo more than doubled from a year ago and rose 57 percent from this year's third quarter.

For the entire fiscal year, palmOne earned $66.4 million, or $1.29 per share, on sales of $1.27 billion. Excluding items, the company said it would have earned $78.9 million, or $1.54 per share. Analysts were looking for profit of $1.48 on sales of $1.27 billion.

Looking to the first quarter, palmOne predicted earnings of 24 cents to 29 cents per share, or 30 cents to 35 cents per share excluding items. Revenue is estimated at $330 million to $335 million.

Analysts currently expect adjusted first-quarter earnings of 31 cents on sales of $314.1 million.