Analyst looks for Pre to sell 1.5 million units over 12 months
It seems that there is no such thing as media overload when it comes to the new Palm Pre. If you've been under a rock for the last few days, Pre is the touchscreen smartphone announced Thursday as a Hail Mary pass from Palm along with the new WebOS. Sprint will be the initial carrier for the device in the U.S. where it is expected to hit the shelves in the first half of this year. The buzz is so loud that even Wall Street has heard it. Palm's stock, once moribund, has soared in the last few days. Citi analyst Jim Suva is guessing that 1.5 million units of the phone will be sold in the first 12 months it goes on sale with Sprint. As a result, he raised his rating on Palm stock from "Sell" to "Hold". The stock has risen from a close on January 7th of $3.30 to a January 9th close of $5.96. Suva expects the model to go for $350-$450 without a contract and price at $199-$249 with a new two year contract. Taking all of these numbers and pulling out his slide rule, the analyst expects more losses ahead in the next few quarters for Palm, but expects that to turn around once the Pre starts gaining momentum. Anyone out there loading up on the stock?