Sotheby’s second-quarter earnings were seven times that of a year ago as sales surged amid renewed confidence in art as an investment.
Net income was $86.2 million, or $1.26 a share, up from $12.2 million, or 18 cents a share, in 2009, the company said in a statement. Second-quarter revenue jumped 68 percent to $281.4 million.
In May, Sotheby’s evening contemporary art auction in New York totaled $190 million, quadruple the tally of a year earlier, when collectors were smarting from the worldwide financial crisis. The quarter included Pablo Picasso’s 1932 painting “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” selling for $106.5 million at Christie’s International in New York, the most paid for an artwork at auction.
Four analysts polled by Bloomberg forecast profit of $1.07 a share. Earlier this week, Christie’s said first-half sales increased 46 percent to $2.73 billion. The closely held company does not disclose profit.
Sotheby’s shares fell 29 cents to $27.55 today in New York Stock Exchange trading. They’re up 23 percent this year as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1 percent. The results were released after the close of regular trading.