Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published 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. “

A number of other research analysts have also commented on the company. TheStreet raised Sotheby’s from a c rating to a b rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Sidoti reissued a buy rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $59.00) on shares of Sotheby’s in a report on Friday, July 21st. Consumer Edge raised Sotheby’s from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. BidaskClub lowered Sotheby’s from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Aegis assumed coverage on Sotheby’s in a report on Monday, October 30th. They set a buy rating and a $60.00 price objective on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $60.25.

Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) opened at $47.05 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.91, a current ratio of 1.73 and a quick ratio of 1.37. Sotheby’s has a 52-week low of $35.16 and a 52-week high of $57.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,462.85, a PE ratio of 22.06 and a beta of 1.89.

Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) last issued its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The specialty retailer reported ($0.45) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.68) by $0.23. Sotheby’s had a return on equity of 22.48% and a net margin of 10.95%. The company had revenue of $171.39 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $101.14 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.78) EPS. The business’s revenue was up 87.3% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Sotheby’s will post 2.14 earnings per share for the current year.

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Sotheby’s declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, August 15th that authorizes the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the specialty retailer to buy up to 4.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Sotheby’s by 18,784.1% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,842,266 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $220,225,000 after acquiring an additional 4,816,624 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in Sotheby’s by 9.9% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,974,106 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $213,290,000 after buying an additional 356,603 shares during the last quarter. Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd grew its holdings in Sotheby’s by 77.0% in the 3rd quarter. Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd now owns 1,500,000 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $69,165,000 after buying an additional 652,600 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Sotheby’s by 42.2% in the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,270,757 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $58,595,000 after buying an additional 377,050 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Paradice Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in Sotheby’s by 5.1% in the 3rd quarter. Paradice Investment Management LLC now owns 1,094,660 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $50,475,000 after buying an additional 52,653 shares during the last quarter. 90.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Sotheby’s

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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