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Palm reports solid earnings

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-Personal digital assistant giant Palm Inc. reported solid earnings in line with investor expectations and company projections, evidence the company has reined in its costs and cash management.

The company’s stock dropped slightly at the start of trading after the news, but rose to about $1.50 per share.

Palm reported revenue for the fourth quarter, ended May 31, of $233 million and a net loss of $18 million. The company said it shipped 900,000 devices during the fourth quarter, and that the total number of devices running the Palm operating system increased to 23 million. Palm made sure to point out that 5 million devices have shipped with Microsoft Corp.’s Pocket PC operating system.

Separately, Palm’s operating system subsidiary PalmSource Inc., which the company is preparing to spin off, announced the Palm OS will soon support applications built on Sun Microsystems Inc.’s Java technology. Palm said it is teaming with Insignia Solutions to make the PDA-capable Java virtual machine.

Also, PalmSource said chip maker ATI Technologies Inc. will make Palm OS-compatible chips, joining the likes of Intel, MediaQ, Motorola and Texas Instruments. Finally, PalmSource said its president and chief operating officer, Todd Bradley, will now serve as the company’s chief executive officer.

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