NEW YORK, Nov. 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sotheby's (NYSE:BID) today reported its financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended 30 September 2016. For the three months ended 30 September 2016, Sotheby's reported a net loss of ($54.5) million and diluted loss per share of ($0.99) which compares to ($17.9) million and ($0.26), respectively, a year ago. Excluding certain acquisition related and other charges, Adjusted Net Loss* for the third quarter of 2016 is ($43.1) million and Adjusted Diluted Loss Per Share* is ($0.78), as compared to ($17.9) million and ($0.26) per share in the third quarter of 2015. "As we communicated previously, the third quarter results were not expected to be good," said Tad Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby's. "Underneath our seasonally low level of sales, there were encouraging but tentative indicators that the market could be looking for a rallying point. At the same time, we are thrilled with the continued results of our internal initiatives." The comparison to the 2015 third quarter net loss is significantly influenced by three factors. First, Net Auction Sales and Auction Commission Revenue were adversely impacted by a change in the timing of the summer Contemporary Art sales in London which were held in the second quarter of 2016 after occurring in the third quarter in 2015. This shift in timing accounted for $197 million, or 93%, of the $211 million decline in Net Auction Sales from quarter to quarter. Secondly, the Company reported a $15 million swing in Inventory activities, driven by $9 million in net gains, largely from the sale of a single painting in the year ago period, and $6 million in net losses from sales in inventory and other inventory write downs in the current period. Partially offsetting these factors in the quarter was an improvement in the Company's Auction Commission Margin and a lower level of share-based compensation expense, continuing trends seen throughout the year. The Company also reported a lower effective tax rate and a significantly lower number of shares outstanding, both of which will benefit the year, but are negative factors for a quarter in which a loss is reported.