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Palm Takeover Rumors Talked Up Yet Again

Pretty much every technology related website and blog is recycling yet another highly speculative rumor regarding Palm's imminent sale. Unstrung, citing sources close to the situation, again claims Nokia and Motorola are leading bidders, and private equity firms Texas Pacific Group and Silver Lake Partners are also interested in buying the company.

Rumors of this nature have been one of the driving forces moving Palm's share price over the past two years. Late last year Palm CEO Ed Colligan emphatically told reporters that the company is not currently for sale nor had they made any overtures to find a buyer.

Palm is due to report its Q3FY07 results and hold its quarterly analyst/investor conference call this Thursday. To date, Palm representatives have refused comment on the rumors, but the issue is sure to come up during the call.

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Unstrung: 'Palm buyout could be finalized Thurs'

cervezas @ 3/20/2007 12:32:48 PM # Q
Sounds like we may know very soon whether there is something to these rumors:

A Palm Inc. buyout could be finalized by Thursday this week, demanding $20 or more per share, according to sources close to the situation. Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK - message board) is seen as the leading vendor bidder; while Palm's management is said to prefer a private equity buyer.

Morgan Stanley -- the banker that the PDA pioneer has been working with to explore its options -- wants to wrap a deal by the 22nd, the day that Palm is due to report its third quarter results for its 2007 fiscal year, according to the latest word from sources.

http://unstrung.com/document.asp?doc_id=119786

Should make for an interesting conference call, anyway!

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Unstrung: 'Palm buyout could be finalized Thurs'
SeldomVisitor @ 3/20/2007 1:08:10 PM # Q
Giggle.

These things always are announced ahead of time with firm dates attached.

Giggle.

BTW, have you seen:

-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=708wDFX28lc

RE: Unstrung: 'Palm buyout could be finalized Thurs'
ballistic @ 3/20/2007 1:34:06 PM # Q
I think there's mounting evidence that Palm's stock is being manipulated with false rumors. Jim Cramer of CNBC fame even used Palm and RIMM in an example of how stocks could be manipulated with false rumors to reporters. Watch the video and read the NYT article:

http://tinyurl.com/32zkpx (video)
http://tinyurl.com/3ah7m9 (NYT article)

Here’s how fomenting works, according to Mr. Cramer: Say a hedge fund manager is holding a short position — a bet that a stock will decline — in Research in Motion, which has just announced blockbuster quarterly earnings results. An enterprising fund manager might call several brokerage houses and either feed them bad information or order a slew of short sales. Then he or she could call up a “bozo reporter” with a fake news tip about Resarch in Motion rival Palm.

Sound familiar?

I wouldn't trust an unnamed, anonymous source in the Unstrung article as reliable, and it sounds like the author of the article is being used as a "bozo reporter" right out of Cramer's scenario...

RE: Unstrung: 'Palm buyout could be finalized Thurs'
cervezas @ 3/20/2007 2:39:46 PM # Q
It's insane isn't it? As if the fact that someone is "close to the situation" makes them credible! More likely, being close gives them an interest in the direction the stock price is going. How far has the NYT sunk that they're parroting this stuff as news?

Still, I wonder if the prominence of these rumors will make Palm feel a need to state something more definitive about them.

My guess: probably not.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Unstrung: 'Palm buyout could be finalized Thurs'
numlock @ 3/20/2007 2:57:56 PM # Q
The most ridiculous thing in that article is this anonymous quote:


"It all makes sense," comments a financial analyst who wished to remain nameless (and faceless as well).

ORLY? I guess it does all make sense then! Good thing they didn't attribute a face with that.

RE: Unstrung: 'Palm buyout could be finalized Thurs'
freakout @ 3/20/2007 4:22:06 PM # Q
Poor Hawkins. Here he is, gushing about what great shape Palm is in, how they're finally in control of their own destiny... only to have someone buy them out a few weeks later. (If the rumours are true, which I highly doubt. None of the people being talked up as potential suitors seem like a good match.)
Cold hard evidence!
freakout @ 3/20/2007 9:37:11 PM # Q
It just doesn't stop, does it? From the Chicago Tribune:

Meanwhile, news broke Monday that [Motorola CEO] Zander had canceled a keynote speech at the wireless industry's annual trade show next week.
The speech had been booked months earlier, but was canceled about two weeks ago. The reason: Zander had "an unforeseen scheduling conflict," a company official told the Tribune Monday. Schaumburg-based Motorola declined to comment further, or to comment on Palm rumors.

"You do see companies pull out of public forums when something is going on," said Morningstar Inc. analyst John Slack, referring to a possible pending acquisition. On the other hand, Zander has plenty on his plate – like fixing Motorola's ailing cell phone operation -- that could have pulled him from the show, said Slack and other analysts.

In other words, it could mean anything. Yet this particular snippet is being reported all over the net. CEOs cancel appointments all the time, I imagine. So how does cancelling an appointment next week translate into evidence of a Palm buyout that's meant to be announced this week?


Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650 ---> Crimson Treo 680

RE: Unstrung: 'Palm buyout could be finalized Thurs'
SeldomVisitor @ 3/21/2007 7:56:53 AM # Q
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New PDA

Rhauer @ 3/20/2007 4:48:31 PM # Q
What outcome is the most likely to produce a new, state of the art pda. Sale to Nokia/Motorola, private equity group, or no sale at all.

RE: New PDA
mikecane @ 3/20/2007 5:08:42 PM # Q
No sale at all. Palm on its own is bound to want to do at *least one more* just to honor its heritage. New owners will scrap whatever the eff isn't *currently* making $$$ and what, in *their* greedy, unimaginative eyes, isn't likely to make money in the *immediate* future. The only thing that would force a new owner to spit out a new PDA is if manufacturing contracts have already been signed and a schedule agreed to. A kill fee might make it too costly to quit, but they could probably negotiate the run down and sell it as a website-only "collector's edition."

I'm not going to worry about this. There is still ebay.

RE: New PDA
just_little_me @ 3/20/2007 6:36:50 PM # Q
Hoping for another PDA from Palm is like hoping God/Darwinism will magically produce some more dinosaurs...


JLM.

RE: New PDA
Rhauer @ 3/20/2007 7:02:28 PM # Q
I don't agree. I think we will definitely see a new bottom and top of the line. If not, how about a 320x480 Treo with a slideout keyboard.

RE: New PDA
retrospooty @ 3/20/2007 8:00:19 PM # Q
"What outcome is the most likely to produce a new, state of the art pda. Sale to Nokia/Motorola, private equity group, or no sale at all."

None of the above, nor will they make one if there is no sale at all. Handhelds are dead, there will be no more handhelds released from Palm no matter what happens.

RE: New PDA
PacManFoo @ 3/20/2007 8:12:03 PM # Q
People keep saying this, that handhelds are dead. Why? Is there some law I am not aware of that states you must have a phone intergrated into any new devices? Why is everyone jumping into bed with Cell Phone Carriers? There is a market for handhelds otherwise ASUS would not be introducing a new (non phone) Pocket PC http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.aspx?NewsId=20009. If Palm would come out with a TX2, don't you think it would sell rings around this ASUS model?

In the company I work for we have HP PocketPC's as well as some more industrial versions being used on a daily basis. These won't be replaced by phones I can guarentee you. I also recently went to one of the CompUSA's that are closing and guess what the employees used for keeping track of the remaining retail, Handspring Visor Deluxes!

With all the Wifi in Homes, Offices, and Public areas, why would I want to pay for a data plan when it is already available?

I'll upgrade my free phone every year and buy a nice PDA every couple of years. If Palm decides they won't make PDA's any longer then I will cut strings and they will have lost a long time user.

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22
Apple - MP2000, MP2100

RE: New PDA
Gekko @ 3/20/2007 9:28:30 PM # Q

It's called PROGRESS. Adapt or die, dinosaur.



RE: New PDA
cervezas @ 3/20/2007 10:59:50 PM # Q
I read a study last week (I'll try to dig up the link) which said that 75% of smartphone owners also carry a PDA. This number was actually up several percentage points from a couple of years ago.

The usual methodology questions "what's a smartphone?" and "is a BlackBerry a PDA?" come up, but the analysis seemed to be pretty clear that PDAs aren't going to zero any time soon.

One thing to keep in mind: a large percentage of smartphone users are issued phones by their companies, which they aren't really at liberty to use as their personal devices. For those folks, which makes more sense: buy yet another smartphone so you can have your personal email, games, music collection, etc. on it, or buy a PDA with a nice big screen and Bluetooth radio?


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: New PDA
just_little_me @ 3/20/2007 11:21:30 PM # Q

I don't agree. I think we will definitely see a new bottom and top of the line. If not, how about a 320x480 Treo with a slideout keyboard.

Give it up. Move on. Nothing to see here...

If Palm were working on a new PDA/handheld we'd have seen plenty of rumours/pics etc. What have we seen? Nada. Nothing.

Besides, I spoke to an unknown source, who coincidentally doesn't have a face either, and he/she/it told me that Palm was clearly focusing on everything EXCEPT non-phone devices.

Did I mention there was nothing to see here...?


JLM.

RE: New PDA
retrospooty @ 3/21/2007 9:43:53 AM # Q
4. Will they produce any new PDAs? NO.
5. Will they get out of the PDA biz altogether? NOT YET

I dont know how many times this must be said... Palm is NOT working on any more PDA's, they are not and will not release another one ever. They will however continue to build the ones they currently have as long as they are being sold. When sales dwindle (such as Lifedrive), Palm PDA's die completely.


RE: New PDA
BaalthazaaR @ 3/21/2007 9:45:31 AM # Q
Well May is not too far away, I can wait until they make that stupid announcement. If it is a stupid product idea, I'll just stock up on backup TXs and bye bye Palm from then on.

RE: New PDA
mikecane @ 3/21/2007 10:31:11 AM # Q
>>>It's called PROGRESS. Adapt or die, dinosaur.

No it's not. It's called what it's always been called.

Palm Stupidity.

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Questions about the Takeover

Gekko @ 3/20/2007 9:29:41 PM # Q

1. Who is most likely to buy Palm? Moto? Nokia? Other?
2. Will they coninue to use the Palm name? or just the Treo brand? Separate Division or totally integrate the company?
3. Which OS will they focus on? Will they keep Garnet? License WM? Other?
4. Will they produce any new PDAs? NO.
5. Will they get out of the PDA biz altogether? YES.



RE: Questions about the Takeover
just_little_me @ 3/20/2007 11:28:21 PM # Q
1. Other
2. Everything will remain as-is in terms of branding etc.
3. Everything will remain as-is in terms of OS's
4. No!!
5. Yes!!


JLM.

RE: Questions about the Takeover
LiveFaith @ 3/21/2007 1:15:06 AM # Q
Why is everyone got their dander up over non-connected PDAs? Just turn the phone off on you Treo and you're done.

Pat Horne
RE: Questions about the Takeover
Rhauer @ 3/21/2007 9:42:10 AM # Q
If they would make one with 320x480 and wi-fi.

RE: Questions about the Takeover
mikecane @ 3/21/2007 10:32:11 AM # Q
>>>Why is everyone got their dander up over non-connected PDAs? Just turn the phone off on you Treo and you're done.

Done is right! No on-screen G. A terrible small screen (buy a fekkin TE2 then!). Goddam unneeded keyboard. Fekkin protruding antenna.

Must I move on to *price*?

RE: Questions about the Takeover
cervezas @ 3/21/2007 1:10:45 PM # Q
I think that was a joke, Mike.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog
RE: Questions about the Takeover
mikecane @ 3/22/2007 8:31:27 AM # Q
I lack humor when it comes to rumors of no more PalmOS PDAs, dammit.

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Ed, Donna & Jeff Dumping Stock, Options

Puck @ 3/21/2007 5:05:52 AM # Q
Check these out:

http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?action=getcompany&CIK=0001100389

Looks like somebody's bailing out....

Puck

RE: Ed, Donna & Jeff Dumping Stock, Options
ballistic @ 3/21/2007 5:38:40 AM # Q
Looks like somebody's bailing out....

Those are regularly scheduled sales that have been going on for quite some time, regardless of stock price. It's a common practice when you have options that may expire or have a considerable portion of your wealth as shares in the company that you founded.

It doesn't mean they're bailing out. Bailing out would be dumping large chunks of shares or options in a very short period of time.

RE: Ed, Donna & Jeff Dumping Stock, Options
SeldomVisitor @ 3/21/2007 7:58:22 AM # Q
Dubinsky and Hawkins are "bailing out" if you want to label selling off their PALM holdings (pure stock, not options) as such. Were I they I'd bail, too, simply because they are no longer in control of their own PALM-destiny.

Colligan appears to be exercising options that he must exercise NOW even though they expire in a year or two because he has so many and is limited to how much he can sell (per week?) - takes a LONG time to exercise options when ya got a gajillion of them (Tahnks, shareholders!).

I don't consider any of these to be sinister, however, and I'm a PALM-pessimist.


RE: Ed, Donna & Jeff Dumping Stock, Options
buckeyetex315-2 @ 3/21/2007 3:23:35 PM # Q
I agree with ballistic. Although Ed did make at least a cool $1.2 million on his options pre-tax. Pretty nice having options at $0.285 and selling them betwteen $15 and $18 each.

Jeff Hawkins also still owns 2.2 million shares of stock. His trust selling a hundred thousand shares or so is just diverisification.

Brent

Palm Vx -----> LONG WAIT -----> Palm T|X

Reply to this comment

Thursday-a-go-go

surfmaniac @ 3/21/2007 1:43:15 PM # Q
Look for an announcement very soon, if not tomorrow during the earnings call. Whether or not it's good for this company's long term prospects, a deal is going to be done at around 22 bucks a share (and that might be on the low side.)


see ya on the back end...



RE: Thursday-a-go-go
cervezas @ 3/21/2007 3:10:43 PM # Q
Shut up with the $22 crap! I'm about to close the deal!


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Thursday-a-go-go
just_little_me @ 3/21/2007 5:59:14 PM # Q
David, I'm closer to closing it than you... and I'm prepared to go to $25! :)

Pump and dump baby, pump and dump...!


JLM.

Reply to this comment

New Mess for Motorola

numlock @ 3/21/2007 6:21:06 PM # Q
Does this really sound like a company ready to make another $2billion dollar takeover?

http://tinyurl.com/2we7ve


Motorola warned late Wednesday that it will miss first-quarter sales targets by more than a billion dollars.

The struggling Schaumburg, Ill., tech titan said it will post an unexpected loss for the quarter, due to the continued struggles of its handset unit. Motorola also shook up management and set plans for a big share repurchase.

RE: New Mess for Motorola
SeldomVisitor @ 3/21/2007 7:24:41 PM # Q
Sigh.

Note that they also said they had all the assets they needed in the mobile devices group.

That Cramer video is an absolute must see - it explains EXACTLY what has been happening since February.

Note, part II - the rumors, having been quashed unexpectedly by this MOT revelation, ar now being changed to "PALM will be acquired soon" rather than tomorrow AM.

Be Careful Out There!

Cramer, regardless what you think of him as a person, knows the hedge fund business well.

RE: New Mess for Motorola
numlock @ 3/21/2007 8:34:36 PM # Q
well said. This palm for sale meme and the recent engadget treo wimax rumor is undoubtedly stock/hedge fund manipulation. Unstrung and Reuters should be wacked by the SEC for this stunt.
RE: New Mess for Motorola
SeldomVisitor @ 3/22/2007 6:43:59 AM # Q
CNBC apparently "reported" that Motorola and PALM were going to get together THIS MORNING. If it doesn't happen THAT'S the one to whack!

(of course, CNBC has always been the one to whack - as the Cramer video overtly notes - "Give a call to Pisani" is a standard hedge fund technique! (might have misssssspelled that name...)

RE: New Mess for Motorola
mikecane @ 3/22/2007 8:33:12 AM # Q
And to think just about 2-3 weeks ago I was not six feet away from Cramer in NYC. Had that video come out earlier, I would have taken the opportunity to spit on him!

RE: New Mess for Motorola
mikecane @ 3/22/2007 8:34:28 AM # Q
But then, really, they're ALL bloody crooks, aren't they?

Time to warm up those nice lampposts again.

(Winding up Gekko!)

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