Sotheby’s (BID) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Sotheby’s Holdings, Inc. is one of the world’s second largest auctioneers of fine arts, antiques and collectibles, offering property in collecting categories, among them paintings, jewelry, decorative arts, and books. Sotheby’s Holdings, Inc is the parent company of Sotheby’s worldwide auction businesses, art-related financing and private sales activities. The Company operates in countries, with principal salesrooms located in New York and London. The company also regularly conducts auctions in other salesrooms around the world, including Australia, Hong Kong, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Singapore. “

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on BID. TheStreet raised Sotheby’s from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research note on Monday, March 19th. Cowen reissued a buy rating and issued a $63.00 price target on shares of Sotheby’s in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Sotheby’s from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $63.00.

Sotheby’s opened at $57.05 on Wednesday, according to MarketBeat. The company has a market cap of $2.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.68 and a beta of 1.78. Sotheby’s has a one year low of $42.78 and a one year high of $57.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.21, a quick ratio of 1.19 and a current ratio of 1.25.

Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 3rd. The specialty retailer reported $0.09 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.21) by $0.30. The firm had revenue of $195.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $141.00 million. Sotheby’s had a return on equity of 24.21% and a net margin of 12.39%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned ($0.12) EPS. analysts forecast that Sotheby’s will post 2.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Sotheby’s declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, March 1st that authorizes the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the specialty retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director Olivier Reza sold 65,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.64, for a total transaction of $3,356,600.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Kevin M. Delaney sold 1,821 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.71, for a total value of $94,163.91. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 798 shares in the company, valued at approximately $41,264.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 76,821 shares of company stock worth $3,962,164. 13.81% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Cortina Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Sotheby’s by 7.2% during the 4th quarter. Cortina Asset Management LLC now owns 470,059 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $24,255,000 after buying an additional 31,616 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE raised its stake in Sotheby’s by 55.4% during the 4th quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 4,251 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $219,000 after buying an additional 1,516 shares during the period. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in Sotheby’s by 57.8% during the 4th quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 1,273,438 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $65,709,000 after buying an additional 466,195 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Sotheby’s by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,921,869 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $202,368,000 after buying an additional 50,971 shares during the period. Finally, Evanson Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Sotheby’s during the 4th quarter worth $203,000. 91.24% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Sotheby’s

Sotheby's operates as an auctioneer of authenticated fine art, decorative art, jewelry, wine, and collectibles in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China, Switzerland, France, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Agency and Finance. The Agency segment accepts property on consignment; and matches sellers to buyers through the auction or private sale process.

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