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Q1 Sales At palmOne Jump 62%

Milpitas, Calif. — Rising sales of handheld digital devices and smartphones pumped up fiscal first-quarter revenue at palmOne, soaring 62 percent to $273.1 million from a year-ago $168.6 million.

The company also reversed its year-earlier red figures, registering first-quarter net income of $19.6 million, compared with a net loss of $21.7 million in the same three months in 2003. Excluding special items, first-quarter profit reached $21.9 million, compared with $14.1 million the previous year.

With palmOne’s unit sales of handheld computers rising 10 percent in the first quarter, compared with a year ago, and the company’s Treo 600 mobile phone showing healthy sales, the maker registered a 33.3 percent gross margin figure in the first quarter, up from 28.1 percent year-on-year and 30.5 percent in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year.

The company reported inventory turns rose to 44 times in the first quarter, compared with 21 times in the same three months a year ago, while operating margin came in at 8.5 percent.

“Our handheld and smartphone solutions performed very well in the marketplace,” said Todd Bradley, CEO. “Excitement is mounting in our category.”