Beleaguered Palm’s shares plunge on profit warning

“Palm Inc. saw its share plunge to a new low Friday morning after the maker of smartphone wireless devices warned that a shipping delay and “unforeseen” warranty repairs would cause a shortfall for its latest quarter,” Dan Gallagher reports for MarketWatch.

“Analysts, already cool towards Palm, noted that the warning shows that the company is still gripped by operational problems as it attempts to turn around its slowing business in the face of growing competition from the likes of Research in Motion and Apple Inc.,” Gallagher reports. “The stock, which already shed more than 35% since closing a recapitalization deal in late October, gave up nearly 18% to trade at $5.41 in early hours.”

“The company’s flagship Treo, which largely established the market for smartphones, has seen its share eroded by the BlackBerry line from Research in Motion. A fresh line of attack has come from Apple with its popular iPhone,” Gallagher reports. “In September, the company pulled the plug on the Foleo, a laptop-like device that was roundly criticized after it was introduced only three months after the product was announced.”

“Earlier this year, Palm landed a recapitalization deal with private equity firm Elevation Partners. As part of the deal, Elevation installed former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein to the post of executive chairman,” Gallagher reports.

Full article here.

We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.Palm CEO Ed Colligan, Nov. 16, 2006

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