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Sotheby’s Quarterly Loss Widens as Revenue Increases

Sotheby’s said its third-quarter loss widened by 10 percent, due to an unfavorable comparison with the year-ago quarter because of a tax benefit.

The publicly traded art auctioneer lost $32.6 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with a loss of $29.7 million, or 44 cents a share, it said in a statement. The loss was in keeping with the 49-cent average loss forecast by six analysts.

Quarterly revenue increased 18 percent to $68.5 million. The auction house realized an $11.6 million tax benefit in the third quarter of 2011.

Sotheby’s shares are up 6 percent this year, less than the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s 10 percent advance. 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. The biggest auctions are held in the second and fourth quarters. Its New York Impressionist and modern art sale is scheduled for tonight.

“Sotheby’s continues to see considerable demand for precious works of art,” Chief Executive Officer Bill Ruprecht said in a statement.

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