Sotheby's (NYSE:BID) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Mar 01, 2018 • 09:00 am ET

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Sotheby's (NYSE:BID) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Sotheby's Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this call is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to introduce, Jennifer Park, Vice President of Investor Relations. Miss. Park, Please go ahead.

Executive
Jennifer Park

Great. Thank you, Michelle. Good morning, and thank you for joining us today. With me on this call are Tad Smith, Sotheby's President and Chief Executive Officer; and Mike Goss, Chief Financial Officer.

GAAP refers to generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America. In this earnings call, financial measures are presented in accordance with GAAP and also on an adjusted non-GAAP basis. An explanation of the non-GAAP financial measures used in this earnings call as well as reconciliations to the comparable GAAP amounts are provided in an appendix to the fourth quarter 2017 earnings release as well as in the Company's Form 10-K for the period ended December 31st, 2017.

Also, during the course of this call, the Company may make projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of the Company. We wish to caution you that such projections and statements are only predictions and involve risks and uncertainties resulting in a possibility that the actual events or performance will differ materially from such predictions.

We refer you to the documents the Company files periodically with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the Company's most recently filed Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. These documents identify important factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in the projections are forward-looking statements. Also, please see our Investor webpage for a transcript -- for prepared remarks.

Now, I'll turn the call over to Tad.

Executive
Tad Smith

Thank you for joining us this morning. We had a very good year in 2017 and are planning to have an even better one in 2018. The 1937 Picasso we sold for $70 million in London last night is certainly a pleasing indicator for the year ahead. Today, we are reporting 2017 earnings per share of $2.20 compared to $1.27 in the prior period, a 73% increase. After excluding certain charges in both periods, adjusted diluted earnings per share improved 32% from $1.71 to $2.25. For the fourth quarter, diluted earnings per share is $1.43 compared to $1.20 in the prior period, a 19% improvement. After excluding certain charges in both periods, adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 9% to $1.47 from $1.35, one year ago.

You may recall a change in our sales schedule that resulted in $82 million in net auction sales from our autumn Hong Kong sales series falling in the third quarter of 2017, which may have reduced our fourth quarter results by as much as $0.15 per share. Three years in, we thought to look back on 2017, remind our stakeholders of our four key