Palm predicts earnings to dip in Q1

Palm, whose Treo smart phone is facing increasing competition from Apple, Nokia and other offerings, warned it may see a small loss in its fiscal first quarter, an Associated Press report said.

For the quarter ended August 31, the company expects either to report a loss of $0.01 per share or to break even, the Associated Press report said.

Palm will report its full financial statement October 1.

During its last quarterly report, the company had said it expected revenues to each between $355 million and $365 million.

Now Palm submitted a narrower range of revenue, from $359 million to $361 million, with smart phone sales accounting for between $300 million and $302 million, the report said.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $359.9 million, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

Excluding charges for stock-based compensation, amortization of intangible assets, patent acquisitions, restructuring and the sale of land, the company said it expects a profit between $0.08 per share and $0.09 per share for the quarter. The report further quoted analysts, who typically exclude special items, as saying they were expecting earnings per share of $0.08, according to Thomson Financial.

The company's downgraded outlook for the quarter represents a substantial drop in earnings from the year-ago period, when the company reported a profit of $0.16 per share

Palm is working on new products and bringing in new management it hopes will strengthen its position, the report said.