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Merrill Lynch: Palm's Outlook is Good, Pixi Ads Coming, Verizon Triple-Confirmed

From Pre Central :
Merrill Lynch has released a rosy assessment of Palm’s prospects, reiterating their “Buy” stance on the stock with a $20 target price, following a meeting with the company’s management team this morning that included CEO Jon Rubinstein, CFO Doug Jeffries, and IR head Teri Klein. While the investment firm anticipates that the stock will remain volatile, they remain optimistic of Palm’s outook:

Palm plans substantial channel expansion in 2010 — that’s more carriers to you. Verizon, as you might expect, was mentioned.
Palm has a growing ecosystem, with the launch of the App Catalog due this December, and innovative distribution models like “click on a URL, get an app” that will help to bolster the interest of developers.
The Pixi is set to make a splash starting this weekend when it launches on Sprint, priced at $99 and targeting a primarily younger demographic.
Palm has a strong balance sheet (bolstered after their secondary stock offering back in September), with over $570 million cash on hand to co-invest with carriers in marketing programs and R&D.
Palm has sufficient resources to execute on its current business plan.
Even though the smartphone market is becoming increasingly crowded, Merrill Lynch is confident that Palm has the stamina and can maintain the differentiation needed to succeed.

We’re also pleased to hear that Palm and Sprint are planning a “new advertising campaign.” While we won’t comment on on the stock price stuff directly, we are hoping the report will fend off any “Palm is dead” stories for a little while.

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