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Sotheby’s Quarterly Loss Widens as Revenue Drops, Expenses Rise

Sotheby's in New York. The company is expanding in Asia. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Sotheby's in New York. The company is expanding in Asia. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Sotheby’s, the publicly traded auctioneer of fine arts and collectibles, said its third-quarter loss widened as auction revenue declined and administrative expenses jumped.

The company lost $29.7 million, or 44 cents a share, up from $19.4 million, or 29 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 20 percent to $58.2 million.

The loss was larger than the 30-cent average loss forecast by two analysts. Sotheby’s also said it is increasing its quarterly dividend to 8 cents a share from 5 cents.

Sotheby’s shares have lost about a quarter of their value this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is little changed. The results were released after the close of regular trading.

The auction house typically posts a small loss or profit in the first and third quarters and a larger number in the second and fourth periods, when its biggest auctions are held.

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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