Analysts get antsy, start making calls on Pre success | webOS Nation

Analysts get antsy, start making calls on Pre success

by Derek Kessler Mon, 17 Aug 2009 3:26 pm EDT

Palm Pre Ah, analyst estimations, how we missed your vague guesses so. At long last, the analysts have started rearing their heads about Palm (again), this time with Ashok Kumar of Collins Stewart and Ilya Grozovsky of Morgan Joseph issuing calls that amount to the coming death of Palm.

As quoted in Barrons, Kumar states that “momentum appears to have already peaked” and that Palm has cut production levels on the Pre for the rest of the year by 500,000 units. How he knows this, he does not say. Of course, this would be a very puzzling move, as Palm has planned launches in Canada, Australia, and Europe by the end of the year, and will be moving the Pre onto other US carriers early next year. It is worth noting that Kumar has been consistently negative on the Palm and the Pre, and doesn't even formally cover the stock as part of his roll at Collins Stewart.

And then there Ilya Grozovsky’s rating of PALM shares as a ‘sell,’ with the low low low target price of $7.50 (from a Thursday close at $13.55). Grozovsky’s unspecified checks indicate Pre sales in July were down to 100,000, half his estimate of 200,000 for June, and that sales thus far in August will end up even lower than last month. In total, Gozovsky is now expecting that Palm will move 350,000 Pre phones in this quarter, a cut of 50,000 from his previous estimates. He believes that the low numbers that Palm and Sprint have sold thus far may result in price cuts before this year’s holiday season, with concessions being made by Palm on the per-unit price to make up for Sprint’s hefty subsidization.

Of course, all of this analyst guesstimation could very easily be solved if Sprint and Palm were to just come out and tell us how many Pre phones have been sold. At this point, we won’t be too disappointed if it’s not a zillion units, just so long as we have a number.