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

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Sothebys ( BID) pushed the Specialty Retail industry higher today making it today's featured specialty retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Sothebys rose 90 cents (2.8%) to $33.14 on light volume. Throughout the day, 775,229 shares of Sothebys exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $32.27-$33.25 after having opened the day at $32.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.24. Other companies within the Specialty Retail industry that increased today were: Coinstar ( CSTR), up 7.6%, Lentuo International ( LAS), up 7.3%, America's Car-Mart ( CRMT), up 6.9%, and OfficeMax ( OMX), up 5.8%.

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 $2.11 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.9, above the average specialty retail industry P/E ratio of 13.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate Sothebys a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sothebys as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow.

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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