One piece of evidence constantly offered on the sad state of the art market is the precipitous drop in Sotheby’s stock price over the last year and half. From a high near $60 to a low near $6, the share price has seen quite a tumble. The equity markets we’re often told are a forward looking. That means we ought to be able to use a company’s stock quote as a measure of expectations.
But what about the even more forward looking measure of fund managers? A few weeks ago, the news broke that Steven Cohen’s SAC capital had bought a significant position in Sotheby’s and then added to it. SAC now holds 5.9% of the firm. Cohen may spare no price when he acquires art personally, but he’s known as ruthless stock trader with excecptional timing. (Since last Summer, the firm has been said to be mostly in cash–talk about timing.)
Now Barron’s makes this interesting observation:
John Angelo, a hedge-fund manager who sits on Sotheby’s board, has bought 125,000 shares in the auction house since March 6 for about $970,000, or an average of $7.74 per share.
Granted, less than a $1 million is hardly a big play, especially for a director of the company. But when a number of smart market players make a move into Sotheby’s stock, no matter how depressed, it suggests a level of confidence about the art market in future, don’t you think?
Directors Bid for More Sotheby’s Stock (Barron’s)