Sotheby's said it expects to report that net auction sales increased by 40% from the prior year to approximately $730 million.
It noted that the improvement is primarily due to a $113 million, or 34%, increase in sales of Impressionist Art and Contemporary Art over last year.
The company said it expects to report that pre-tax loss for the first quarter improved by 81% to approximately -$6 million, as compared to Sotheby's pre-tax loss of -$32 million in the first quarter of 2013.
The unusual move, Bloomberg reports, came before its annual shareholder meeting on May 6 in New York as Sotheby's is being challenged by activist investor Daniel Loeb over its leadership, and is looking to fend off the hedge-fund manager.
TheStreet Ratings team rates SOTHEBY'S as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate SOTHEBY'S (BID) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."