Zacks Investment Research Lowers Sothebys (BID) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Sothebys (NYSE:BID) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday 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. “

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BID has been the subject of several other research reports. Cowen lifted their price objective on shares of Sothebys from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 28th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Sothebys from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research note on Monday, March 19th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Sothebys from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Sothebys currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $61.00.

Sothebys stock opened at $52.13 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.38, a current ratio of 1.25 and a quick ratio of 1.21. Sothebys has a 52-week low of $42.78 and a 52-week high of $57.95. The company has a market cap of $2,781.48, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.67 and a beta of 1.77.

Sothebys (NYSE:BID) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 1st. The specialty retailer reported $1.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.40 by $0.07. Sothebys had a net margin of 12.01% and a return on equity of 22.31%. The firm had revenue of $315.56 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $306.70 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.35 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Sothebys will post 2.51 earnings per share for the current year.

Sothebys announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, March 1st that authorizes the company to repurchase $100.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the specialty retailer to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Olivier Reza sold 65,000 shares of Sothebys stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.64, for a total value of $3,356,600.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Kevin M. Delaney sold 1,821 shares of Sothebys stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.71, for a total transaction of $94,163.91. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 798 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $41,264.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 76,821 shares of company stock valued at $3,962,164 in the last quarter. 13.81% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. RWC Asset Management LLP increased its stake in Sothebys by 22.5% during the 3rd quarter. RWC Asset Management LLP now owns 657,256 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $30,306,000 after purchasing an additional 120,655 shares in the last quarter. Cortina Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Sothebys by 7.2% during the 4th quarter. Cortina Asset Management LLC now owns 470,059 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $24,255,000 after purchasing an additional 31,616 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in Sothebys by 22.0% during the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 344,247 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $15,874,000 after purchasing an additional 62,185 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE increased its stake in Sothebys by 55.4% during the 4th quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 4,251 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $219,000 after purchasing an additional 1,516 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC increased its stake in Sothebys by 57.8% during the 4th quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 1,273,438 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $65,709,000 after purchasing an additional 466,195 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.10% of the company’s stock.

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About Sothebys

Sotheby’s is a global art business company. The Company is engaged in offering its clients opportunities to connect with and transact in a range of objects. The Company offers a range of art-related services, including the brokerage of private art sales, private jewelry sales through Sotheby’s Diamonds, private selling exhibitions at its galleries, art-related financing, and art advisory services, as well as retail wine locations in New York and Hong Kong.

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