Sotheby’s 3Q16 Earnings Call Notes

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Sotheby’s (BID) CEO Thomas Smith on Q3 2016 Results
Thomas Smith

Signs that the market might stabilize

“Underneath the seasonally weak results that we expected during the quarter, we are pleased both with some small signs that the market might stabilize and also more significant internal progress on our initiatives such that, when the market does stabilize, Sotheby’s will be poised to do very well for shareholders.”

People are looking for an opportunity to buy

“Yes, actually we are seeing – I’ve been travelling extensively talking a lot of our both consigners and buyers. And it’s clear that coming out – the summer was a little bit of a pattern of the doldrums. Coming out of the summer there was a little bit more confidence, consignments began to pick up. Some very interesting things came to the marketplace. And there is a sense in the art market from lots and lots of consigners that we’ve had a long sort of not very exciting patch during the art market, and that they are looking for an opportunity to buy. I mentioned in prior earnings call that there a lot of people that have a lot of money and are very interested in buying good things or things at good prices or both. And those folks are eager to see good things and good things or good prices in the auction rooms, but the problem more recently in the last number of quarters has been a little bit of reticence on the part of consigners who have the discretion not to consign to wait and see how things that are uncertainty shake out.”