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Let's Check with Phil... Will there be an Early Pre?

Thu Mar 26, 2009 - 11:55 AM EDT - By Annie Latham


Note: Originally posted at

Seems like Deutsche Bank analysts Jonathan Goldberg and Chris Whitmore got some folks fired up by (a) raising their target price for PALM stock $2 to $12, and (b) stating the Pre could arrive earlier than expected.

This speculation about the Pre's arrival has a "Punxsutawney Phil" feel to it. You know... If Phil sees his shadow, there will be 12 more weeks until the release of the Palm Pre. If he does not see his shadow, it will arrive early.

Anyway, back to the lead story and its ripple effects...

All Thing's Digital's John Paczkowski in his Digital Daily column, provided some more details of what Goldberg and Whitmore put in their note to investors:

"Since their earnings release last week, we have conducted a round of checks on Palm and remain confident in the potential for their new Pre smartphone to turnaround the company's results."
"The Pre timetable seems on track at least, and both carrier and developer interest remains high...We also confirmed earlier checks and vague hints on their recent call that the company is working on other form factors which we could see in the market sooner than expected."

Music to an investor's ears, right?

Paczkowski, who seems to include the "believe it or not I'm walking on air" guy in his Palm-related posts, pointed out that not everyone shares the view of these Deutsche Bank analysts. Apparently Needham analyst Charlie Wolf believes Palm may already be fully valued even if the Pre turns into a stunning success.

Hold on. Looks like there are parallel stories running here. Many Palm fans and tech gadget aficionados are pulling for the company to get back in the game with a product (or series of products) that is a "stunning success." That would be huge.

The other story has to do with riding the hot stock, right? So how high will Palm's stock go? Is there money to be made? And when PALM levels off, what will the next "hot" stock be.

So what's your preference?

  1. Palm Pre is a stunning success
  2. Palm's stock explodes through the roof
  3. All of the above
  4. Other

Don't be looking to Phil for answers here. He's only programmed to predict arrival, not success.

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