Stock Watch: Buyback, Palm Spinoff Plans Drive 3Com

3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) was up 4 1/2 at 48 3/16 in early trading Tuesday after reports that the company announced a $1 million stock buyback and detailed plans for the spinoff of its remaining stake in Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PALMS).

Reports also said 3Com will distribute on July 27th — a few months earlier than scheduled — about 1.5 Palm shares for each 3Com share held on July 11th. An Internal Revenue Service ruling allowed the company to distribute the remaining 532 million shares earlier than planned without any tax penalties, the Associated Press reported.

Palm went public in March at $38 a share. Shares of the company, which makes the popular Palm Pilot handheld computer, shot up as high as 165 before trending lower along with other technology issues. Palm was at 31 3/8 in morning trading, down 7/8.

3Com shares, by contrast, have fallen steadily since the Palm IPO: In March, the stock was trading above 90.

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