Shares in Palm Inc slid after takeover speculation continued to surround the handheld and smart phone maker.
Shares in the company fell 6.83% to $17.05 on the Nasdaq on Monday morning. Last Friday, the shares had risen to as high as $18.08, its highest in eight months on renewed media speculation that a leading mobile phone maker was eyeing a possible acquisition.
Nokia Corp has been touted as a possible. Other potential buyers include Motorola Inc, as well as private equity outfits. There is also talk that Palm would be more suited to pure hardware players such as Dell Inc or Hewlett-Packard Co, looking to expand their mobile expertise. Reuters meanwhile, quoting an unnamed technology banker, said there was potential interest from both strategic and private equity buyers in bidding for Palm.
The Sunnyvale, California-based company currently has a market capitalization of $1.75bn. In the year ending May 2006, it posted a net profit of $336m, up from $66m in 2005. Sales rose to $1.58bn from $1.27bn in 2005. It finished the year with approximately $520m in cash, cash and equivalents, and short-term investments.
Its 2007 annual results are due out on June 28.
While the company has undoubted expertise and knowledge of the mobile handset market, its Palm operating system is in danger of being largely ignored in today’s industry, despite its strong installed base in the US. Last year the company launched its first Windows-based device.