Sotheby’s Quarterly Profit Fell 26 Percent as Art Sales Decline

Sotheby’s (BID), the publicly traded auctioneer of fine arts and collectibles, said fourth quarter profit fell 26 percent as sales slid.

The New York company’s net income fell to $71.5 million from $96.2 million a year earlier. It earned $1.04 a share, less than the average $1.25 estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Quarterly revenue fell 11 percent, to $284 million.

A year earlier, Sotheby’s had its most profitable quarter since 2008.

Sotheby’s shares fell 62 cents today to $39.34 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They’re up 38 percent this year, more than four times the gain of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The shares declined 20 percent in the past 52 weeks.

The results were released today after the close of regular trading.

To contact the writer on the story: Philip Boroff in New York at pboroff@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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