Sothebys (BID): Today's Featured Specialty Retail Loser

Sothebys ( BID) pushed the Specialty Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Specialty Retail loser. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Sothebys fell $1.40 (-4%) to $34.04 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2.1 million shares of Sothebys exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $33.67-$36 after having opened the day at $35.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.44. Other company's within the Specialty Retail industry that declined today were: Sport Chalet ( SPCHA), down 10.7%, PC Mall ( MALL), down 8.8%, Lentuo International ( LAS), down 4.3%, and United Online ( UNTD), down 2.9%.

Sotheby's, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an auctioneer of authenticated fine and decorative art, jewelry, and collectibles in the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Auction, Finance, and Dealer. Sothebys has a market cap of $2.43 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, equal to the average specialty retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 24.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Sothebys a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sothebys as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Zale Corporation ( ZLC), up 13.3%, Charles & Colvard ( CTHR), up 7.9%, Mecox Lane ( MCOX), up 4.5%, and Medifast ( MED), up 4.1%, were all gainers within the specialty retail industry with CarMax ( KMX) being today's featured specialty retail industry winner.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the specialty retail industry could consider SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) while those bearish on the specialty retail industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).
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