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Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) will be announcing Q3 2009 earnings after the close of market today, followed by a conference call which is scheduled to start at 4:30 pm Eastern.  

It will be interesting to hear if Palm provides any further clues about the Pre.  Speculation is running rampant.

In The Wall Street Journal’s Heard on the Street column (“Can Palm Squeeze the BlackBerry?”) today, Martin Peers talks about how Palm seems to be mounting “a John Travolta-style comeback,” while BlackBerry’s maker, Research in Motion (RIM) is trading “like its disco days are over.”  Palm’s stock has been rallying in advance of the Pre while RIM’s stock is flat after plunging 70% last year.  He puts together an interesting “Pros and Cons” story for each smartphone maker, concluding:

It is easy to be seduced by the promise of the hot new device. In this case, however, sticking with RIM looks a better bet then grabbing hold of Palm.” 

Over in the Fortune Investor Daily column (“Reading into Palm's future”) posted earlier this week at CNNMoney.com, Michael Copeland talked about how expectations are high for the smartphone maker's new Pre, but it's not easy to separate the hope from the hype.  An interesting point he made was how Palm’s stock is “behaving like shares of a classic biotechnology company with a promising drug in trials: Everything is riding on potential performance and sales.”  He noted that Palm has a good story to sell the Street:

“It's a company that looks like it now has the cash to survive long enough to properly market Pre, and extend its webOS into other devices. In other-words, it's got potential.”

In his discussion of how Palm has become "an acquisition target by the likes of Research in Motion, Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and others with a takeout price of $15 to $16 per share," he called for caution:

“The stock is rising on optimism and best guesses. But until the Pre and Palms webOS hit the market sometime before the end of June, that's all it is.”

And the Pre Watch continues...


Note:  You can gain access Palm’s Q3 2009 earnings Webcast here.