Psion shares hit new low

Demise of Symbian-based Odin wireless handheld shaves nearly a quarter off company's value

Psion (quote: PON) shares hit a new 52-week low in Thursday trading, dropping more than 23 percent to as low as 117p by 1.24pm GMT. The sell-off follows Psion's announcement it would stop development on the Odin wireless handheld computer and lay off staff.

Psion is Europe's largest maker of handheld computers. Its shares have had a torrid time, even by tech stock standards. An October profit warning was followed by another black day at the end of January when they lost a fifth of their worth after Motorola pulled out of the Odin project.

The shares have sunk ever since, losing another quarter of their value to close at 154p on Wednesday after hitting a new order-book low for the year of 150p, valuing the company at some £650m.

Once as high as £15, they have underperformed their sector by some 70 percent in the last year. In 1999, Psion made a pre-tax profit of £4.6m.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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