Palm Inc, the world's largest maker of handheld computers, had a profit for the second time in two years as it cut costs and received a US$5 million insurance payment. The shares rose as much as 13 percent. \nNet income in the second-quarter was US$3.52 million, or US$.12 a share, compared with a loss of US$25.2 million, or US$0.89, a year earlier. Sales fell 8.8 percent to US$264.9 million in the quarter ended Nov. 29 from US$290.6 million a year before. \nPalm lowered marketing and other expenses as rivals, including Handspring Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and Sony Corp, capture a greater share of the dwindling market for handhelds. Palm has tried to boost sales with higher-priced models designed for businesses and with the US$99 Zire for new users. \n"The handheld industry is declining less rapidly now than it has over the last several quarters," Eric Benhamou, Palm's chairman and chief executive officer, said on a conference call. \nPalm shares rose as high as US$2.12 to US$18.60 in after-hours trading following the release of the results. They fell US$.52 to US$16.73 by 4pm in regular trading on the NASDAQ. \nPalm will return to a loss in the third-quarter as sales drop from a year before, said Chief Financial Officer Judy Bruner. It will have a "modest" loss for the quarter, excluding amortization of assets and other cost, she said. Sales will be US$230 million to US$250 million, Bruner said, down from US$292.7 million a year earlier. \nThe computer maker's results in the most recent quarter exceeded the company's earlier expectations. In September, Palm said it would have a "small loss" on sales of US$245 million to US$265 million for the quarter. Palm's costs dropped 19 percent in the quarter from a year ago to US$264.5 million because marketing, research and administration expenses declined. \nPalm received a US$5 million payment from insurers during the quarter to cover the cost of a disruption to its business two years ago, when a parts supplier's factory burned down, Bruner said. \nPalm's stock market value, which exceeded that of Ford Motor Co on the first day of trading in March 2000, has declined by more than US$15 billion over the past two years, standing at US$485 million by the close of the regular trading day. In October, it exchanged one share for every 20 owned by investors to keep the price high enough to meet the minimum value required by the NASDAQ.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.