Pre sales increasing in August. Maybe. | webOS Nation

Pre sales increasing in August. Maybe.

by Derek Kessler Tue, 18 Aug 2009 10:23 pm EDT


Just grab the salt shaker now, you'll need it later. We have two new conflicting analyst opinions for you, courtesy of Barron’s. We’ll start with the not-so-good, and it’s a familiar tune. Amir Rozwadowski of Barclays Capital is stating that demand for the Palm Pre “has not re-accelerated following what we believe was a noted downshift in the beginning of July.” His estimates for Pre sales are 500,000 - 550,000 units this quarter (the current quarter ends in two weeks), which will likely amount to a miss of Wall Street consensus estimates of 550,000 units sold. Echoing the thoughts of Ilya Gozovsky, he also believes that Palm’s Eos/Pixie has been delayed and will not be seen this year. Instead, he says that Palm will focus on getting the Pre on more carriers. Rozwadowski has rated Palm as “underweight” (advising investors to ‘lighten’ their portfolio of the stock) and set a $12/share price target.

And now for the rare positive analyst opinions on Palm. Seemingly not upset by Palm’s lack of disclosure about Pre sales numbers, Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette thinks that Pre sales have actually increased as August has progressed. He cites that the better (any) advertising hitting the airwaves and intertubes coupled with strong word-of-mouth and improved supply have contributed to sales this month “trending up slightly sequentially.” Faucette’s previous estimate for the quarter - 750,000 units - does now seem lofty to him, though within reach if Pre sales were to accelerate notably in the coming two weeks. Faucette has rated Palm at “outperform” (the company is expected to do better than Wall Street and corporate estimates) and set a target price of $17.

At Monday’s close Palm was trading at $13.23 after a brutal six percent decline during a global stock sell-off (though the stock did recover much of that loss during Tuesday's trading). Palm shares have dropped 16% from the June 30 close of $16.58, the stock's highest close since October 2007.