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The scrum of analysts trying to get their two cents in before Palm's financial call continues. We won't note all of them, but when something surprising or interesting pops up, we can't help but mention it.

While we hope that the financial results on Thursday will give us a better glimpse into how well the Pre has sold in Europe, the analysts over at MKM Partners aren’t hesitating to say they’ve done well. The firm recently upgraded Palm’s stock from Neutral to Buy and raised their price target to $20 (up from $11). What motivates such optimism in the face of a quarter that is expected to have been as good as predicted but still not that great?

Like us at PreCentral, MKM believes that the expected launch of the Pre and Pixi on Verizon next year will open up Palm and webOS to millions more customers, as well as mitigating “the uncertainty of an AT&T relationship.”

MKM also noted something of particular interest: Palm has performed better in Europe than expected and the Pre has been “outselling key HTC and Motorola [Android] models in major markets like the U.K.” If that is the case, it represents a surprising turn, where Palm historically did well in the US and failed in Europe, but is now struggling in the US and succeeding overseas. Right now we have no way of confirming the hypothesis, though we do hope that Palm at least breaks out their sales by carrier or region.

Thirdly, MKM’s analysts believe that the price battle between Amazon and Wal-Mart over Pre and Pixi pricing is not only indicative of the ongoing war between the two mega-retailers, but that it shows strong support for both devices and vindicates “Palm’s strategy of targeting the mass market, rather than tech enthusiasts.”

And in the last note in their four-point position, MKM actually expects that the soon-to-be-reported quarter from Palm will actually exceed expectations. They also expect that Palm will miss their mark in the coming quarter (ending February 2010), but expansion onto new carriers in 2010 will not trouble investors too much.

While Thursday will bring the answers we’ve been waiting for, it is nice to see that analysts have been more positive on Palm this quarter than last. Then again, they may have learned their lesson when Palm blew out the predicted unit sales by hundreds of thousands. But Palm is still a shaky company in a fast-moving industry in a very shaky global economic climate. Right now, investors are looking for signs that the Pre was not just a one-hit-wonder - they want a company that can survive, or at least one that will make an attractive acquisition target.

Thanks to rowehc for the tip!