Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) has been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the six research firms that are covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, one has issued a hold recommendation and three have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $59.00.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on BID. Consumer Edge upgraded shares of Sotheby’s from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sotheby’s from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Sidoti reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $62.00 price target (up from $59.00) on shares of Sotheby’s in a report on Friday, July 21st. TheStreet raised Sotheby’s from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Sotheby’s from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th.

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Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of BID. Strs Ohio lifted its holdings in shares of 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 raised its position in Sotheby’s by 28.5% in the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 2,486 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $113,000 after acquiring an additional 551 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Sotheby’s by 20.7% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,400 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $154,000 after acquiring an additional 582 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. purchased a new position in Sotheby’s in the second quarter worth $172,000. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its position in Sotheby’s by 72.9% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,630 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $195,000 after acquiring an additional 1,530 shares in the last quarter. 89.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Sotheby’s (BID) traded up 2.31% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $48.79. 453,024 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.42 and a beta of 1.85. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $45.33 and a 200 day moving average of $49.30. Sotheby’s has a 1-year low of $33.85 and a 1-year high of $57.95.

Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) last released 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). Sotheby’s had a return on equity of 18.72% and a net margin of 8.49%. The firm had revenue of $314.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $313.90 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.51 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Sotheby’s will post $1.94 earnings per share for the current year.

Sotheby’s declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, August 15th that allows the company to repurchase $100.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the specialty retailer to repurchase up to 4.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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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