I can understand why. After accounting for non-cash expenses, the company reported sales and earnings ahead of expectations. Revenue reached $355.8 million, and adjusted per-share net income came in at $0.21.
Plus, gross margin improved for the fifth straight quarter. To me, that suggests pricing strength. Earlier this month, you see, Palm reported that demand for its Treo phone/PDA had slackened thanks to the Treo 650's unceremonious exit from Europe. Call it a good result in a not-so-good situation.
Of course, there was also bad news that was, well, bad. Take guidance, for example. Management plans on booking between $430 million and $450 million in Q2 revenue, which amounts to practically zero year-over-year growth. (It sold $444.6 million worth of Treos and personal digital assistants during last year's Q2.)
What's more, receivables growth outpaced that of sales by roughly 7 to 1. And free cash flow plummeted by 64%. Not good.
To be fair, Palm is in a transitional phase during which it is investing heavily to broaden the appeal of the Treo here and overseas. And it has seen some notable successes. For example, earlier this month it struck a deal with Vodafone
These and other carrier relationships will aid with growth, obviously. But more is needed. Accordingly, management hinted in the earnings release that it will prioritize market share gains over profitability in the short term.
It's a reasonable gamble -- one that Fool co-founder David Gardner has applauded in the pages of Motley Fool Stock Advisor. I've no doubt he's correct. Investors are always better off focusing on the long-term, and that's especially true with this stock. Spotty service could be the order of the day for at least the next several quarters.
Dial 'F' for related Foolishness:
- Check in with last quarter's numbers and analysis.
- How did our Foolish forecast look?
- Beware, Fool; Palm is reinvading Europe.
Palm is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Ask for us anall-access passand you'll get a backstage look at all of the stocks that are helping David and Tom Gardner beat the S&P 500 by nearly 40% as of this writing. It's free for 30 days. All you have to lose is the prospect of a richer portfolio.
Vodafone Group is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers still owns a Treo 600, which he beats up every day. Tim didn't own shares of any of the stocks in this story at the time of publication. Get the skinny on all the stocks he owns by checking Tim's Fool profile . The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is never on hold.