Sotheby's Holdings'

(BID) - Get Report

first-quarter loss narrowed.

The Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based company reported a loss of $4 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with previous year loss of $9.7 million, or 16 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting a loss of 9 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

First-quarter revenue rose 30% to $96 million from a year ago, on account of higher auction commission revenue attributable to a 44% rise in aggregate auction sales as well as a 49% rise in private sale commissions. Analysts estimated revenue of $91 million.

"As seen in these excellent first quarter results, 2006 has begun very strongly," the company said. "Numerous collecting categories across the globe are experiencing growth, with the most important contributors to the first quarter being London's highest impressionist and modern art and contemporary art sales in its history; historic highs for old master paintings and very successful Asian sales in New York."

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