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Revenue At palmOne Climbs 18%

New York — Handheld maker palmOne registered an 18 percent revenue gain in its fiscal third quarter, hitting $285.3 million, up from the $242.5 million recorded in the same three months a year ago.

The handheld computing and communications solutions company said it was the seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth. At the same time, palmOne moved into the black in the third quarter, notching net income of $4.4 million, compared with a loss of $9.3 million in the same three months the previous year. Gross margin climbed to 31 percent in the quarter, up from a year-earlier 28.9 percent.

Excluding items, earnings reached $10.6 million in the third quarter, ended Feb. 28, which compares with $600,000 year-over-year.

For the nine months, palmOne revenue came in at $934.6 million, up from a year-ago $682.3 million.

Net income reached $48.6 million, compared with a loss of $35.2 million the previous year.

Excluding items, earnings hit $59.7 million for the nine months, compared with a loss of $8 million in the same period the previous year.

PalmOne announced it shipped about 938,000 Zire, Tungsten and Treo devices during the third quarter, resulting in cumulative shipments of approximately 29.9 million units to date. Sales of Tungsten E PDAs reached 1.5 million units, after 14 months on the market.

The company also announced two new initiatives. Ed Colligan, president and interim CEO, said palmOne is investing more heavily in product development, with the goal of developing smartphones for multiple carriers simultaneously in order to better meet demand.

In addition, palmOne expanded its engineering team by more than 35 percent in order to improve development of core hardware and software applications.

Colligan said palmOne will continue to deliver its Treo 650 smartphone to more carriers worldwide and will improve training at the carrier store level.

In handheld PDAs, palmOne said it will bring to market a product that will fuse business productivity and entertainment applications in a single device. — Additional reporting by Amy Gilroy