Palm Shares Tumble; Morgan Keegan, Avian Downgrade

Palm (PALM) shares are down sharply this morning following downgrades of the stock by analysts at Avian Securities and Morgan Keegan.

Avian analyst Matthew Thornton cut his rating on the stock to Neutral from Positive. He says a survey of U.S. retail stores and discussions with management lead him to conclude that “smartphone units and sales are likely to come in below expectations for the next several quarters.” He also thinks the company will exit the May 2009 fiscal year with a much lower run rate for its Centro line, putting more pressure on new Palm OS products to meet or exceed expectations in fiscal 2010, “leaving less room for upside.” He cuts his price target on the stock to $5 from $9.

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