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Analyst says Palm burning through cash like it's going out of style

Chris Ziegler

Stock downgrades are nothing new for the boys and girls at Palm, but analyst Tavis McCourt of Morgan Keegan (which certainly sounds like an important and all-knowing firm) has painted a particularly bleak picture of the company's books today -- so grim, in fact, that it set off a 20 percent drop in the company's market cap. Apparently the big concern is Palm's cash burn rate, which has left a cash reserve of just under a quarter billion dollars through a series of delays and setbacks that have been partially offset by moderate successes like the Centro. McCourt figures that'll be down to a mere $75 million by the time Palm OS 2 launches, and that's assuming they don't run into any more slips in the schedule. He notes that Bono can always just flip 'em a few more mil out of his Joshua Tree earnings, but it'll end up diluting existing shareholders' stakes, hence the massive drop in value today. No pressure, Palm.

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