Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

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 equities analysts also recently weighed in on BID. Sidoti restated a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 target price (up from $59.00) on shares of Sotheby’s in a report on Friday, July 21st. TheStreet upgraded shares of Sotheby’s from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Sotheby’s from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $60.33.

Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) traded up 0.64% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $43.72. 308,323 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $2.30 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.36 and a beta of 1.84. Sotheby’s has a 1-year low of $33.85 and a 1-year high of $57.95. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $48.94 and a 200-day moving average price of $49.47.

Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The specialty retailer reported $1.43 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.51 by ($0.08). The firm had revenue of $314.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $313.90 million. Sotheby’s had a return on equity of 18.72% and a net margin of 8.49%. Sotheby’s’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.51 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Sotheby’s will post $1.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

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Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Strs Ohio boosted its position in Sotheby’s by 2,200.0% during the first quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 2,300 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 2,200 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE boosted its position in Sotheby’s by 28.5% during the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 2,486 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $113,000 after purchasing an additional 551 shares during the period. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. bought a new position in Sotheby’s during the second quarter worth $172,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Sotheby’s by 20.7% during the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,400 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $154,000 after purchasing an additional 582 shares during the period. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Sotheby’s by 72.9% during the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,630 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $195,000 after purchasing an additional 1,530 shares during the period. 89.49% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Sotheby’s 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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