Handspring Drops on Analyst Downgrade

Handspring (Nasdaq: HAND) was down 38 U.S. cents to $16.50 in morning trading Monday, following reports that USBancorp Piper Jaffray downgraded the stock to buy from strong buy.

“We believe Handspring will feel the impact of a slowing U.S. economy,” USBancorp analysts wrote in a morning research note.

US Bancorp cut itsestimates for Handspring’s fourth-quarter revenue to $123.2 million from$133.9 million, and lowered its fiscal 2002 revenue forecast to $626.9million from $733.3 million.

The analyst firm said that it expects Handspring to lose 7 cents per share in the fourthquarter, rather than the 6 cents previously estimated, and cut its outlookfor full-year earnings to 3 cents per share from 8 cents.

US Bancorp also slashed its 12-month price target forHandspring shares to $32 from $110.

Last week, NCR filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Handspring and fellow handheld computer makerPalm. However, Palm, in a statement issued Monday, said the suithas “no merit.”

Handspring, based in Mountain View, California, reported a 600 percentyear-over-year increase in revenue for the second quarter ended December30th, when it reported revenue of $115.6 million. The company said the results reflected strongdemand for its Visor computers and expansion in the U.S. and Asia.

Handspring posted a loss before amortization of deferred stock compensationof $7 million for the quarter, or 7 cents per share, compared with a 15.2million, or 12 cent per share, loss a year earlier.

The company ended upwith a net loss of 15.19 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with aloss of $10.06 million, or 32 cents, a year earlier.

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