Sotheby’s First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, May 10, 2012. Sothebys is an auctioneer of authenticated fine art, antiques and decorative art, jewelry, and collectibles.

Sotheby’s Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for a loss of 16 cents per share, a spike from net income of 4 cents in the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from one cent. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from a loss of 14 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 6.9% compared to last year’s $2.48.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company missed estimates by 19 cents, coming in at profit of $1.04 per share versus a mean estimate of net income of $1.23 per share. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company beat estimates by 5 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 21.2% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $94.2 million.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock, with four analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and one rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit fell 25.7% to $71.5 million ($1.03 a share) from $96.2 million ($1.40 a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue fell 10.6% to $284.2 million from $318 million.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is hoping to use this earnings announcement to snap a string of two-straight quarters of revenue declines. Revenue fell 20.3% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and dropped again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between February 8, 2012 and May 4, 2012, the stock price fell $2.57 (-6.5%), from $39.52 to $36.95. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 24, 2011 and July 7, 2011, when shares rose for nine straight days, increasing 18.5% (+$7.42) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 11, 2011 and November 25, 2011 when shares fell for 10 straight days, dropping 19.6% (-$6.44) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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