Thursday, April 12, 2007

Calls of Note Part 1

JMP Securities notes that Sotheby's (NYSE:BID) May Impressionist Art auction looks strong. The catalog was released for the company's May Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale. The line-up looks strong especially considering last year's auction included the $85 million Picasso. This year's estimated hammer range is $218.7-295.8 million and estimated aggregate sales range is $247.4-333.7 million versus last year's actual aggregate sales results of $207.6 million, an increase ranging from 19-61% (low to high ranges). Firm expects the May Contemporary Art auction to be even more impressive given that it will include a $40 million Mark Rothko and a $30 million Francis Bacon painting. They continue to recommend BID shares despite the recent run-up in share price. With more catalysts on the horizon, they believe further upside exists to their estimates and share price. Firm's prior $50 price target is under review.

Notablecalls: Given the run in the BID shares, looks like someone had an advance copy of the catalog. We'll probably see another pop in the share price today, but wouldn't count on that.

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