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Could Palm Have a Earnings Surprise in FY Q1?

Wed Jul 30, 2008 - 7:50 AM EDT - By Annie Latham

According to a post by Barron's Eric Savitz, Palm (PALM) might have an upside surprise in its fiscal first quarter (which ends in August). In a research note published on Monday, RBC Capital's Mike Abramsky raises that possibility referencing the company's 10-K filed on Friday. In it, Palm disclosed a Q4 backlog of $238 million, up from $185 million one year earlier, and $121 million two years earlier.

"He writes that past precedent finds Q1 revenues have been 1.6x-1.9x Q4 backlog. Use the lower number, and you would get $413 million, or well above the current Street consensus of $324 million. Abramsky says that would imply a loss for the quarter of 4 cents a share, versus the Street's estimate of a loss of 18 cents."

Needless to say, the upside is being driven by the new Treo 800w at Sprint, as well as the Centro orders coming in from the three major carriers (Sprint, Verizon and AT&T).

Perhaps this should be viewed with cautious optimism. There are a few other points made in Savitz's post worth noting.

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