Second-quarter sales 3Com's Palm handheld device increased 50 per cent, to $260.9 million, over the same quarter last year.

3Com's second-quarter earnings are 37 cents per share, up from 36 cents per share for the same period last year, and 3 cents higher than Wall Street expectations.

3Com earned $130.9 million in the quarter, excluding one-time items, down from $133.4 million in the same period last year, the company said in a statement issued today. Total net income was $177.3 million and included a net gain of $71.3 million from the sale of.

"Supply chain management continues to improve, our balance sheet has never been stronger, the Palm IPO (initial public offering) is on track for early calendar 2000. We are gaining momentum in several emerging high-growth markets, including wireless CDMA (code division multiple access), LAN telephony, and broadband cable and DSL (digital subscriber line)," Eric Benhamou, 3Com chairman and chief executive officer, said in today's statement.

In related news, the company said that Chris Paisley, 3Com's senior vice president and chief financial officer, will resign next summer. Paisley has worked at the company for 15 years. No replacement was announced.