updated 10:00 am EST, Fri December 11, 2009
Analyst sees Palm better than expected
Palm may have fared better than expected in its crucial fall quarter, according to an investment note from Kaufman Brothers. Senior analyst Shaw Wu points to checks in the industry that suggest the company should have shipped about 670,000 Pre and Pixi phones between September and November. Although down from the summer peak of 823,000 phones, the tally is higher than expected and should skew towards the more lucrative Pre.
Average selling prices are likely to have dropped down to $406 before carrier discounts due to the Pixi's lower price, but Wu still predicts that soften its previously anticipated losses: it should earn $276 million in pure revenue and see its net loss soften from a feared 32 cents per share to 29 cents.
The researcher justifies his view of the company by arguing that many investors are "overly negative" about Palm and ignore some of the advantages of its phones, such as multi-touch support and a top-to-bottom integration of the OS and hardware. Even if not always commercially successful, it could be an "attractive acquisition" for a company hoping to get an edge in smartphones, Wu says.
How Palm will fare in 2010 is considered the primary concern as it's not known which carriers will adopt its phones once Sprint's exclusivity ends. The most likely candidate for the Pre is Verizon, but AT&T and further international carriers could also help Palm's finances as long as the devices are released relatively quickly.