updated 10/2/2007 7:48:23 AM ET 2007-10-02T11:48:23

Struggling Treo smart phone maker Palm Inc. swung to a small loss Monday for its fiscal first quarter as it faced stiffening competition.

In the three months ended Aug. 31, Palm said it lost $841,000, or a penny per share, on revenue that rose 1 percent to $360.8 million. In the year-ago period, Palm earned $16.5 million on revenue of $355.8 million.

Excluding one-time items that included $5.1 million in stock-based compensation expenses, a $5 million patent-acquisition cost and $6.6 million in restructuring charges, the Sunnyvale-based company said it would have earned $9.7 million, or 9 cents per share.

On that basis, Palm beat Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected the company to report adjusted earnings of 8 cents per share on sales of $360.3 million.

Palm also issued a weak forecast Monday. For its fiscal second quarter, Palm said it expects a loss of 3 cents to 1 cent per share on revenue between $370 million and $380 million. On an adjusted basis, it expects earnings of 6 cents to 8 cents per share.

Analysts were projecting adjusted earnings of 11 cents per share on sales of $413.5 million, according to Thomson Financial.

Palm has battled increased competition over the past year — most notably from Apple Inc.’s foray in late June into the smart phone market with its iPhone.

Playing a bit of catch-up to its rivals, Palm last week unveiled a thinner and more affordable smart phone. The Centro, Palm’s first major hardware redesign in years, will cost $99 with a two-year service contract when it becomes available later this month.

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