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On Tuesday,  Palm's stock closed at $11.29, up $0.75 (7.12%).  Analyst activity on Monday helped trigger the move. 

After Monday's closing bell, Jonathan Goldberg of Deutsche Bank issued a note to clients in which he lifted his price target on the stock to $20 from $19. He said the company's webOS mobile operating system is a "scarce resource" that can drive value by attracting a large base of developers to write for it.

Over at AllThingsD.com, in his Digital Daily post, John Paczkowski pointed to this aspect of Goldberg's note -- "Palm’s got potential–M&A potential."

Goldberg wrote, “Street consensus appears to be that Palm will be acquired in the next year or two, which given the current environment we think could be a reasonable possibility.” But to make it a reality, Palm must first demonstrate its viability. “We think Palm needs to prove it can be a stand-alone entity, a viable business in its own right. We clearly think that it can.”

This story was also picked up at MocoNews by Tricia Duryee.

Also on Monday, Scott Searle of Merriman Curhan Ford started coverage of the stock with a Neutral rating.  According to a story posted at StreetInsider.com, Searle was quoted saying that the Pre and Pixi, based on Palm's robust and critically lauded webOS, have truly revitalized the company.  The analyst also noted more carriers and, importantly, more apps will be required to achieve success.  Other points:

  • estimates breakeven at ~1.4M units and EPS power of $1.00 at ~3M units/quarter (vs. a recent 800k).
  • expects a rapidly expanding operator base, but remain on the sidelines until visibility to carrier adoption improves.

Merriman Curhan Ford (NASDAQ:MERR) is a financial services firm focused on fast-growing companies and their institutional investors.