So far this year, Sotheby’s has sold $548m worth of art and other valuable objects in Asia. That’s about 17.5% of the $3.139b total sales at the auction house. True, Sotheby’s made a big deal of Asian sales growth during their recent earnings reports but they also highlighted the 114% growth in private sales to explain the company’s prospects. Nonetheless, a Wall Street analyst took a shot at Sotheby’s, among other firms, by suggesting the firm is overly exposed to a potential slowdown in China’s economy.
That call caps off a 13% slide in Sotheby’s stock this week on the eve of Sunday’s opening of Sotheby’s Fall sale cycle in Hong Kong:
Chinese industrial production has slowed following repeated interest rate hikes and other curbs as the government tries to tame growth and cool inflation that is hovering near a three-year high above 6 percent.
China is important to Sotheby’s because about 15 to 20 percent of its revenue this year came from Hong Kong, according to David Schick of Stifel Nicolaus.
THE ANALYSIS: Schick said in a client note that he has yet to see evidence of a China “hard landing” among the companies he covers with exposure to China, which include Sotheby’s, Coach Inc. and Tiffany & Co.
Sotheby’s Falls Partly on Concerns About China (Forbes.com)