April 29, 2010 / 7:11 AM / 10 years ago

Palm shares jump in Europe after HP offer

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Europe-listed shares in U.S. smartphone maker Palm PALM.F jumped in early trade on Thursday after Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) announced overnight a $1.2 billion deal to buy the company.

“This is a good news for Palm. HP is a prominent brand with strong funding, capable of reinvigorating WebOS,” said Ben Wood, research director at British mobile consultancy CCS Insight.

Last year, Palm introduced its Linux-based WebOS operating system, which won media and analyst praise but failed to impress the buying public.

It shipped a total of 960,000 smartphones in the February quarter, but only 408,000 of those were sold to consumers. Palm last reported an annual profit for the fiscal year ending May 2007.

“It’s a good move for both companies — HP didn’t have the products. Palm didn’t have the money. This will put the right product in the right hands,” said IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo. Palm’s Frankfurt-listed shares PALM.F rose 25 percent in early trade to 4.43 euros ($5.90), while HP shares were flat. (Reporting by Tarmo Virki)

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