Palm shares jumped by more than 20 percent Monday following reports that Palm has put itself up for sale. The handset maker, which has struggled to find sales momentum for its well-reviewed smartphones and watched its fortunes take a dive in the past year, is said to be starting to entertain bids, and has hired two Wall Street firms to help it through the transition.
Bloomberg was first to report over the weekend that Palm is for sale, citing people familiar with the situation as saying Palm has brought in Goldman Sachs and Qatalyst Partners. According to the Bloomberg report, HTC and Lenovo have already begun looking under Palm's hood, and additional potential suitors may emerge over the next week.
The stock jump has been undoubtedly good news for Palm, whose stock price is down nearly 50 percent since January. After another earnings slump in March, Palm further stunned Wall Street by at less than half of what many analysts had predicted.
HTC and Lenovo have been the most-often-mentioned names so far, but numerous other reports since Bloomberg's story broke have speculated that some other big tech companies could soon be in the mix as well. Whoever ends up acquiring Palm would gain access to not only Palm's range of smartphones, but also WebOS, the company's proprietary mobile operating system on which its staked much of its smartphone growth.
Palm's Palm Pre and Palm Pixi phones -- which have since been expanded beyond Sprint to be offered, as Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus, on Verizon -- were among Channelweb.com's 10 Coolest Smartphones of 2009. Palm also recently said it would look to an expanded relationship with AT&T, as well.
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