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Pre wasn't able to pull Palm out of the red in Q4 2009

Palm launched its new smartphone this month called the Pre. The device was the first webOS handset from Palm and the company has high hopes that the Pre will help it get back into the smartphone market after its previous handsets were losing their appeal to consumers.

It was apparently too late in the quarter for the Pre to help Palm's earnings look better. Palm announced its Q4 fiscal 2009 earnings (PDF) yesterday and reported a net loss of $105 million or 78 cents per diluted share. In 2008, the new loss for the same quarter was $43.4 million.

Palm doesn't get specific about how many Pre's were shipped during the quarter, but does say that it shipped 351,000 smartphones during Q4 for a 6% increase from Q3 fiscal 2009 and a year over year decline in shipments of 62%.

Smartphone sell-through for the quarter was 460,000 units, a decline of 5% from the previous quarter and a drop of 52% year-over-year. Total revenues for Palm for its fiscal 2009 year were $86.8 million with gross profit of $20.1 million and a gross margin of 23.1%. Palm points out that its GAAP accounting method defers and recognizes the revenues and cost of revenues for the Pre over the products estimates economic life.

“The launch of Palm webOS and Palm Pre was a major milestone in Palm’s transformation; we have now officially reentered the race,” said Jon Rubinstein, Palm’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We have more to accomplish, but the groundwork is laid for a very promising future here at Palm. Our senior management team is capable, motivated and focused on execution; there is a large group of developers waiting to build great applications for Palm webOS; and we have a new product pipeline that we think will set a standard for the industry.”

Palm reports that on a non-GAAP basis the net loss for the quarter was $53.4 million. Palm has $255.1 million in cash equivalent and short-term investments available at the end of the quarter.




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