A lease charge helped to sink



fiscal third quarter, as the handheld-computer maker reported a widening loss on shrinking sales.

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Mountain View, Calif.-based Handspring lost $90.4 million, or 62 cents a share, in its third quarter ended March 29. That compared with a $23.7 million, or 18 cents a share, loss the company posted in its year-ago quarter.

In its just-completed quarter, Handspring took a $75.9 million charge related to the restructuring of a lease on a facility in Sunnyvale, Calif. Without that and other one-time charges, the company would have lost $12.8 million, or 9 cents a share.

Wall Street analysts were expecting Handspring to lose 9 cents a share excluding such charges, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Despite the hypothetical improvement in the company's bottom line, the decline in its revenues was anything but imaginary. Handspring's sales were slashed nearly in half, from $59.7 million in the year-ago quarter to $30.8 million in the just-completed quarter.

Handspring shares closed up 5 cents, or 7.4%, to 73 cents in regular trading Tuesday.