Palm loses $85.4 million in latest reported quarter -- hey, it's an improvement

We don't know just how quickly Palm (or Elevation Partners, for that matter) thought it'd become profitable following the release of webOS, but it's not there quite yet -- the company is in the process of outing its earnings for the second quarter of fiscal year 2010 right now, and in a word, they're still in the red. The good news is that it's a marked improvement from last quarter -- they've gone from a $164.5M GAAP net loss to an $85.4M one this time around. On a non-GAAP gross basis, they actually made $5.5M, which is up from $2.8M a quarter earlier. They've got $590 million in cash and other "short-term investments" on the book right now, which seems like it should be enough to keep the company going without a profit or additional cash infusion for at least a few additional quarters, but then again, burn rate is going to vary with just how much hardware and software R&D they're doing and the kinds of carrier deals they're scoring. We bet they're looking forward to this Verizon business going down, eh?

Update: Palm's specifically saying that they're looking to grow carrier and geographic coverage right now -- a good plan, if we say so ourselves.

Update 2: They've sold 784,000 phones in the quarter, which compares to 823,000 in the last -- a 5 percent drop. That's up 41 percent from the same quarter a year ago... but yeah, of course it's going to be way up from the pre-webOS days.

Update 3: Over 800 apps in the catalog so far, once they graduate from the Early Access Program exclusivity, Palm foresees a "flood" of apps. No plans right now to change SDK strategy to a more native development environment.