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Sotheby's posts narrower-than-expected Q1 loss

(Reuters) - Auction house Sotheby's BID.N posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss, boosted by a strong response to its Impressionist and Contemporary art auction in February and lower expenses, and said its latest auction in New York was also received well.

New York-based Sotheby’s posted a net loss of $2.2 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a loss of $34.5 million, or 53 cents a share, a year earlier.

Total expenses dropped 15 percent to $94.0 million.

Revenue at the auctioneer, which competes with privately held Christie’s, jumped 87 percent to $101.9 million.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 19 cents a share, on revenue of $104.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Auction commission revenue more than doubled to $95.6 million.

Net auction sales from the Impressionist and Contemporary Art in London, in February, more than tripled from the prior year. The company said its Impressionist and Modern Art auction in New York brought in $195.7 million, up from $61.4 million last year.

Shares of the company were down 20 cents at $34.77 in early morning trade Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal

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