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Palm Reports Lower Profits

Sunnyvale, Calif. — Palm reported a four percent increase in revenue for its fiscal first quarter ended Sep. 1, but said net income declined in the face of stiffer competition in the smartphone market.

Palm reported revenues of $355.8 million, up from $342.2 million a year ago and a net income of $16.5 million, down from $18.2 million for the quarter a year ago.

Palm said the shortfall occurred in carrier retail store sales due to competitive pricing. Company president and CEO, Ed Colligan said that during the quarter Palm reacted by lowering prices and saw sales “immediately rebound.” As a result, Palm will launch a lower priced smartphone in the near future.

Palm competes against suppliers including Research in Motion (maker of the Blackberry), Motorola and Nokia.

Smartphone revenues for the first quarter totaled $269 million, up 18 percent, year over year. Smartphone sell through totaled 569,000. Handheld revenue totaled $87 million for the quarter, down 24 percent. Sell though on handhelds was 490,000 units.

Palm also announced a stock buyback program of up to $250 million of its common stock..