Sothebys (BID) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sothebys (NYSE:BID) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday. The firm currently has $57.00 price objective on the specialty retailer’s stock.

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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A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of Sothebys from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research note on Monday, March 19th. Cowen reiterated a buy rating and issued a $63.00 price objective on shares of Sothebys in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $60.50.

Sothebys (NYSE BID) opened at $49.50 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.38, a quick ratio of 1.21 and a current ratio of 1.25. Sothebys has a 52 week low of $42.78 and a 52 week high of $57.95. The stock has a market cap of $2,596.82, a P/E ratio of 22.50 and a beta of 1.86.

Sothebys (NYSE:BID) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 1st. The specialty retailer reported $1.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 business had revenue of $315.56 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $306.70 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.35 EPS. Sothebys’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Sothebys will post 2.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Sothebys announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, March 1st that allows the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the specialty retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Olivier Reza sold 65,000 shares of the 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 SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Kevin M. Delaney sold 1,821 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 7th. The stock was 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 in the company, valued at approximately $41,264.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 76,821 shares of company stock worth $3,962,164 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 13.81% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in Sothebys by 103.7% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 950,945 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $49,069,000 after buying an additional 484,141 shares in the last quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Sothebys by 57.8% during the fourth 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 in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its holdings in Sothebys by 5.7% during the fourth quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,730,808 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $192,510,000 after buying an additional 202,227 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Sothebys by 13.9% during the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,446,850 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $74,657,000 after buying an additional 176,093 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lombard Odier Asset Management Switzerland SA purchased a new stake in Sothebys during the fourth quarter worth $7,740,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.10% of the company’s stock.

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Sothebys Company Profile

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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