BID - Sotheby's

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
0.0000
-56.9900 (-100.00%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous Close56.9900
Open56.9800
Bid0.0000 x 4000
Ask0.0000 x 21500
Day's Range56.9800 - 57.0000
52 Week Range32.0100 - 59.9400
Volume1,548,678
Avg. Volume538,130
Market Cap0
Beta (3Y Monthly)N/A
PE Ratio (TTM)0.00
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target EstN/A
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
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  • Sotheby's, the Billionaire and the Reserve Price
    Bloomberg

    Sotheby's, the Billionaire and the Reserve Price

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Sotheby’s is under fire for accepting a $2.7 billion takeover bid from billionaire art lover Patrick Drahi. The handling of the sale reflects poorly on the board, even if it led to a generous offer relative to where the stock was trading.The venerable auctioneer received a takeover approach from a group of unidentified private equity investors in December. Others, including Drahi, followed. As the shares fell from nearly $60 in the middle of 2018 to less than $40 by the year-end, the board should have been on alert to repel opportunistic approaches. It doesn’t look that way judging by the timeline set out in Sotheby’s regulatory filings.The buyout consortium said it thought the auctioneer was worth a mere $50 a share. The board rejected this – but without much conviction. In fact, it offered the bidder help to raise the price. That would have given the impression Sotheby’s was keen to sell itself. Doubtless encouraged by the board’s friendly rejection, the private equity group raised its offer to a still ungenerous $52.50 a share in May.Meanwhile, Drahi and a host of others were sniffing around. Board members discussed the correct price for any deal, but they couldn’t agree. The designated director for Sotheby’s biggest shareholder, Chinese insurer Taikang Asset Management, suggested $100 a share.A knockout bid still hadn’t emerged. Time to get on with the day job? No. A message was conveyed to Drahi that the board was open to a deal and “certain directors” would back one at $65 a share. Faced with this blatant come-on, the billionaire refused to make the desired offer.A board confident in its view of the company’s intrinsic value, and unswayed by short-term share price falls, would surely have left it there. Not Sotheby’s. It invited Drahi to “get as close as he could” to a price “in the $60s”. He still didn’t oblige.Sotheby’s lowered its target to $57.50 a share. An intermediary was told that Third Point LLC, an activist that owns 14% of the company and controls several board seats, was ready to sell at the right price. Drahi called the board’s bluff once more, returning with a $57 a share offer in June.Sotheby’s buckled and also agreed to pay Drahi $111 million if a gatecrasher came along. His offer was at a big 61% premium to then share price, but largely because the stock had fallen further.Obviously boards should have diverse opinions. Still, couldn’t Sotheby’s have come to a solid view of what it was worth and stuck to it? If some directors think the company is worth $65 a share – barely above where the shares traded last year – why was it backing this deal? Or was that number a tactical ploy? As unhappy U.K. shareholder RWC Partners notes, the auctioneer only used the more pessimistic of its internal financial forecasts as it weighed up its future as an independent company.The board was at least right not to try to get an auction going or solicit a firm offer from Taikang: it’s far from certain a Chinese bidder would be able to complete a deal. Above all, Sotheby’s shouldn’t have been actively trying to sell itself in the face of bad offers.If a deal is too cheap, an auction will follow. The snag here is that the break fee adds to the cost of any counter-bid. At 3% of Sotheby’s enterprise value, it is unhelpful to shareholders but not an insurmountable obstacle. The board’s tactics could yet be vindicated if an auction gets going.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at chughes89@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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    Yahoo Finance Video

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  • Facebook's Watchdog Has a Chance to Follow the Money
    Bloomberg

    Facebook's Watchdog Has a Chance to Follow the Money

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Google and Facebook Inc. are in regulators’ sights again. Britain’s monopolies watchdog is gathering input for its “Online Platforms and the Digital Advertising Market” study.Behind this seemingly nebulous title lies a golden opportunity to make Big Tech face some hard questions about its control over digital advertising. This could be a first, since no-one has as yet managed successfully to unpick the workings of the ad tech market. The answers could steer the conversation about a breakup of the two behemoths to their digital advertising assets, rather than their consumer-facing offerings – something that both companies would desperately like to avoid.The Competition and Markets Authority’s investigation will span data collection, the firms’ dominant consumer-facing platforms and competition in online ads. Officials should focus their limited resources on the last of those three. Data and platform dominance feed the advertising model, and privacy is of course an important concern. But the regulator needs to follow the money.Between them, Google and Facebook secured 56% of all global internet ad dollars in 2018, according to the World Advertising Research Council. That should rise to 61% this year.A close examination of the two firms’ earnings demonstrates how they’ve managed to consolidate their dominance. In North America, the growth in the number of active Facebook users has slowed to a crawl over the past two years. Yet the average revenue per user has continued to grow exponentially.Meanwhile at Google, the number of impressions from its network members (i.e. websites where Google is responsible for placing the ads) also grew more slowly last year. To offset that, the cost-per-impression grew by 12%, up from 8% a year earlier.This points towards the power both firms have to squeeze money out of advertisers. Brands can and do complain about Google and Facebook till they’re blue in the face, but if they want to advertise online they have little choice but to still send ever more ad dollars their way.The British study explicitly cites Google and Facebook's control over multiple important stages in the programmatic advertising process, what’s known as the “advertising stack.” That’s noteworthy. Other studies in Germany, France, Australia and elsewhere have more broadly tackled the use of data. Britain should avoid starting on a path that may just replicate their findings. Concentrating on the ad stack gets right to the heart of the firms’ business models.The issue with the modern competitive landscape is that the distinction between the various roles in programmatic ad categories is blurring. The competition lawyer Damien Geradin, who has long been critical of Google, likens it to the sale of a painting where Sotheby’s is the auctioneer, the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. When you buy a painting, you tell the Sotheby’s buying agent your maximum budget is $100,000. A day later, you’re told you were the winning bidder, and paid just $75,000.The problem is, you’ve no idea how high the next bid was. Nor does the seller know how much was offered. Maybe both got a good deal, but it’s hard to tell. You simply have to take the auction house’s word for it.Now substitute ad views or clicks for the painting, and Google for Sotheby’s, and you get a sense of some of the problems in online advertising. Walled gardens have developed where money goes in, and results come out, but brands and publishers have little visibility on everything that happened in between.It won’t be easy to disentangle the workings of this industry. The CMA has just 25 people dedicated staff to the study – Facebook and Google meanwhile have thousands of employees in the U.K. alone.When Australia published the preliminary report of its Digital Platforms Inquiry in December, it admitted it was “difficult to estimate with precision whether the pricing for search or display advertising may be considered excessive.” That’s a serious problem. If the regulator, with its legal authority, can’t ascertain the truth, then brands themselves have even less of a chance.It’s all but impossible to reach an independent evaluation of the price and effectiveness offered by the duopoly against competing platforms. Britain’s competition cops would do well to embed themselves deeply in the firms’ operations, rather than simply seeking written responses and interviews. The CMA is accepting comments until the end of July, and in six months will decide whether to turn the study into an investigation. At the end of the study phase, the regulator can only make recommendations to lawmakers. An investigation would allow it to seek remedies to fix what it might deem an imbalanced situation. And Britain has clout. It’s likely Facebook and Google’s biggest market in Europe: the U.K. digital ads market is almost three times as big as France’s.There are already heavy hints about what remedies might entail. The CMA’s announcement at the start of this month went so far as to moot “the separation between certain activities in the digital advertising value chain.” That might be a more astute way to tackle Google and Facebook, than, for instance, making them hive off YouTube or WhatsApp respectively.If the CMA has the same difficulties that the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission had, then suggesting standardized measures to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of online ads would be a sensible first step. That would at least help us understand whether a deeper breakup of the firms’ advertising operations is necessary.\--With assistance from Elaine He.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Ryan at jryan13@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Moving Average Crossover Alert: Sotheby's
    Zacks

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  • Sotheby's must face Russian billionaire's lawsuit over art fraud - U.S. judge
    Reuters

    Sotheby's must face Russian billionaire's lawsuit over art fraud - U.S. judge

    A federal judge in New York rejected Sotheby's bid to dismiss a $380 million (£299 million) lawsuit where Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev accused the auction house of helping his longtime art dealer's scheme to overcharge him on dozens of masterworks. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said Sotheby's failed to establish that the case did not belong in his court because Rybolovlev was already litigating in Switzerland, where much of the key evidence and many witnesses were located, and that principles of international comity justified dismissal. Furman found no showing that New York was "genuinely inconvenient" and Switzerland was "significantly preferable," saying the New York case had made more progress and Sotheby's might save money by defending itself in its home forum.

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  • Billionaire Art Lover Pays a Da Vinci-Style Price for Sotheby’s
    Bloomberg

    Billionaire Art Lover Pays a Da Vinci-Style Price for Sotheby’s

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- For full tycoon status, you need to own a real trophy asset. Patrick Drahi has moved to obtain lasting renown by securing a $3.7 billion deal to buy the venerable auction house Sotheby’s. Getting noticed doesn’t come cheap.Drahi is best known as the acquisitive founder of Altice Europe NV, a Dutch-listed telecoms group, and its sister business Altice USA Inc. He’s No. 174 in the Bloomberg Billionaires index, with an estimated net worth of $8.6 billion, just above his mentor, Liberty Global Plc’s John Malone. He can afford to buy Sotheby’s. But expect him to be using a heap of debt to do so, something straight out of his and Malone’s playbooks.You never get a trophy for a bargain sum and so it is here. Drahi is offering a 61% premium to the Sotheby’s closing price on Friday, and a 56% premium to the 30-day average price. On a longer-term view, the auction house is slightly better value. The $57-a-share bid is still 3% below the company’s year high, and is 21 times expected earnings over the next 12 months. The stock was trading at 23 times earnings back in September. The market isn’t expecting a counterbid. But there’s only one Sotheby’s and it can’t be ruled out.For Sotheby’s, it’s hard to see how an offer with this premium, and from an art lover, could have been rejected. Indeed, the company is voicing the now familiar lament that private ownership may suit the business better. It’s certainly been tough for the board on the public markets. Shareholder activist assaults have included a 2014 whipping from Dan Loeb’s Third Point LLC, a 14% shareholder, who complained about poor governance and weak cost control.For Drahi the commercial attractions are less clear cut. He’s paying a handsome premium that only he can justify. Running auctions is a tricky business: The market is highly volatile, clients may demand guaranteed minimum prices to choose a particular auction house, and there are lots of expensive staff on the books. The economics are similar to owning a blue chip investment bank, even if the social cachet is on another level (arch-rival Christie’s is owned by the Pinaults, no strangers to trophy assets).Still, with the numbers of the world’s super-wealthy expanding, art prices tend to do the same thing. The issue for the auction houses is making sure they get the very top contemporary pieces, so popular with Drahi’s billionaire cohort.What does Drahi bring other than his commitment to the arts and experience as a Sotheby’s client? It would be brave to bet against him, but his undoubted skills in financial structuring don’t seem particularly relevant in this case. Possibly his experience of cutting costs and transforming businesses will be of benefit, in particular as Sotheby’s adapts to digital sales.It’s not obvious why full ownership of Sotheby's would be the first recommendation of an adviser to Drahi’s family office. It’s a risky business. There may be wiser uses of $4 billion – just not ones that put you on the cultural map.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at chughes89@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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    Motley Fool

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