Palm moved a lot of smartphones--1,029,000 to be exact--and revenue was well ahead of expectations, but the company's turnaround is still a work in progress.
The company, which has been living off the $99 Centro, is hoping to raise margins with its new Treo Pro, which currently doesn't have a carrier. The Treo Pro will come unlocked, but has generated some early buzz.
Also see: Review: Palm Treo Pro brings thinnest Treo to the world
Image Gallery: Palm Treo Pro Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional device
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Palm reported a first quarter net loss (statement
) of $41.9 million, or 39 cents a share, on revenue of $366.8 million, up from $360.7 million a year ago. Excluding various charges and costs, Palm reported a loss of $12.8 million, or 12 cents a share. Palm was expected to report a loss of 18 cents a share excluding options expenses and 22 cents a share including charges. Revenue was expected to be $325 million, according to Thomson Reuters.
Palm said revenue in the second quarter will be down from the first quarter as it clears out inventory ahead of the Treo Pro launch. Wall Street is expecting revenue of $363 million for the second quarter so it's unclear whether Palm is in line or below estimates. First quarter revenue was well ahead of estimates so being down slightly may actually be in line.
On a conference call, Palm CEO Ed Colligan noted that the company still has work to do, but said the fact that the company sold more than 1 million units for the first time in its history is a positive. Colligan also talked up the Treo, noting it had a great out-of-the-box experience.
"The Treo launch will be critical to margin improvement," said Colligan. He's not kidding. You can't sell $99 Centros forever.
"Palm is about to take a great step forward," said Colligan. He added that software is the key differentiator for smartphones and argued that the new Palm OS will put the company back in a leadership position. Palm OS powered handsets are expected in the first calendar half of 2009.