Kenny Schachter on the summer past and the season ahead
Could we be in for a rough ride this fall in the high-flying, gravity-defying top end of the contemporary art market?
That was the billion-dollar question on the lips of the summer art crowd from St. Tropez to the Hamptons. August brought Sotheby’s second-quarter results, declared by new CEO Tad Smith as "rather bumpy," which in translation means weaker than expected by Wall Street analysts, with profits off 7% and revenues down 1.1%.
At the time of this writing, Sotheby’s shares have been under another kind of hammer—down more than 25% since the third week of June from just shy of $47 to $34 on the close of business before Labor Day; and with slimmer and slimmer margins I can’t see how that will change anytime soon.
But the sky isn’t about to fall…not yet anyway…