Sothebys (BID) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Sothebys (NYSE:BID) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

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. “

Several other research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Cowen and Company upgraded shares of Sothebys from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $38.00 to $45.00 in a report on Friday, December 16th. Sidoti initiated coverage on shares of Sothebys in a report on Thursday, December 29th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Sothebys from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Thursday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Sothebys currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.67.

Sothebys (NYSE:BID) traded down 0.53% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $47.33. 441,513 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.27 and a beta of 1.96. Sothebys has a 52 week low of $24.20 and a 52 week high of $49.87. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $43.25 and its 200 day moving average price is $39.56.

Sothebys (NYSE:BID) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 27th. The company reported $1.35 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.18. Sothebys had a negative net margin of 0.31% and a positive return on equity of 16.53%. The company earned $308.69 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $277.28 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.19 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Sothebys will post $1.94 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, Director Olivier Reza purchased 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 6th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $48.04 per share, for a total transaction of $480,400.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 10,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $480,400. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Kevin M. Delaney sold 1,806 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.04, for a total transaction of $86,760.24. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 1,212 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $58,224.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 11.98% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Keybank National Association OH raised its position in shares of Sothebys by 39.8% in the fourth quarter. Keybank National Association OH now owns 38,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,527,000 after buying an additional 10,900 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Sothebys during the third quarter valued at $33,961,000. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its position in shares of Sothebys by 385.0% in the third quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 77,731 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,955,000 after buying an additional 61,704 shares during the last quarter. Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Sothebys during the third quarter valued at $9,195,000. Finally, A.R.T. Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Sothebys during the fourth quarter valued at $2,172,000. 88.23% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Sothebys

Sotheby’s is a global art business company. The Company operates in two segments: Agency and Finance. The Agency segment earns commissions by matching buyers and sellers of authenticated fine art, decorative art, jewelry, wine and collectibles (collectively, art or works of art or artwork or property) through the auction or private sale process.

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