Palm: Never Mind Our Earnings–The Pre Is Going to Be Awesome
Give Palm credit: The handset maker, which has been struggling to figure out whether it wants to heighten expectations or dampen them, delivered third quarter results that were just as lousy as it had promised.
Palm (PALM) said it lost 89 cents a share–or 86 cents a share after excluding one-time charges–on sales of $96 million. Those numbers are roughly what Wall Street had expected, since Palm had already warned earlier this month that revenues would be bad, and that it would experience “continued margin pressure from its legacy product lines” for a while longer. Smartphone revenue was $77.5 million, down 72 percent year-over-year.
But both Palm and Wall Street have pretty much shut the book on the old company, and its old phones, like the Treo. The future of the Palm, for better or worse, is the Pre, its to-be-released wonderphone that Palm is positioning as a competitor to Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerrys.
But even here, Palm isn’t quite sure what to say about the phone it’s staked its future on. Last week, it had to tell investors to disregard Palm investor Roger McNamee’s Pre hyperbole–specifically about its ability to unseat Apple’s iPhone.