Art News

Sotheby’s Announces 2009 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID) today announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2009. Despite a 7% decrease in net auction sales, Sotheby’s reported a substantial improvement in fourth quarter 2009 earnings over the prior year fourth quarter. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2009 is the second highest in Company history at $73.6 million, or $1.09 per share, compared to a net loss of ($9.3) million, or ($0.14) per share, for the prior period. This significant improvement in profitability is especially attributable to a $52.1 million, or 31%, increase in operating revenues from the prior period. This increase is largely due to a 440 basis point, or 28%, improvement in auction commission margin, from 16.0% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 20.4% in the fourth quarter of 2009, resulting from management’s revenue enhancement strategies. Also positively impacting revenues is