March 20, 2008 / 8:10 PM / in 9 years

Palm posts quartely loss vs year-ago profit

SAN FRANCISCO, March 20 (Reuters) - Palm Inc PALM.O, maker of the Treo smartphone, on Thursday posted a quarterly loss, hurt by restructuring charges and other items.

The company said net loss for its third fiscal quarter ended Feb. 28 was $31.5 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with a profit of $11.8 million, or 11 cents a share, a year ago.

Palm, whose Treo phone competes with Research In Motion Ltd's RIM.TO Blackberry e-mail device and Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPhone in the market for phones with mini keyboards and computer-like features, said revenue fell to $312.1 million from $410.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

In December the Sunnyvale, California-based company forecast third-quarter revenue of $310 million to $320 million.

Palm had also forecast a loss before certain items of 14 cents to 16 cents per share for the quarter, worse than the average Wall Street estimate of a 4 cent loss. It said its net loss would range from 31 cents to 33 cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected a loss before unusual items of 15 cents per share, on revenue of $315.8 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Excluding the restructuring charge and other items, Palm said it had a loss of $17.0 million, or 16 cents a share.

Reporting by Duncan Martell, editing by Richard Chang

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