Earnings missed Wall Street’s expectations of $1.48 a share, with David Schick at ConsumerEdge Research noting that the miss could be attributed to “lower auction commission margins” than analysts had modeled for. However, Sotheby’s said on its earnings call that auction commission margins should see “meaningful improvement” in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, revenue in the quarter rose 5 per cent from a year ago to $314.9m, driven by higher inventory sales but were a touch shy of analysts’ estimates of $315.7m.The problem with following the sell-side is the dearth of comparable companies for the analysts to cover and model against BID. Christie's, the auction house's main peer, is private. So are Phillips and Heritage, two other firms that are more like Sotheby's than not.
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