Understanding Abbey House: Specialty Retail Play Focused on Rapidly Growing Class of Eastern European High Net Worth Consumers

August 30, 2011

On May 5, 2011, Skate’s added a relatively new firm–Poland’s Abbey House (established in 2010)–to Skate’s Art Stock Index. On August 16, 2011, Abbey published its six months financial results, the first public financial disclosure since it listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange earlier this year. We have studied Abbey House and researched its business model, and in this issue of Skate’s Market Notes we discuss our findings.

To read the full article with data, please click here.

Artprice’s Share Re-pricing: Bubble or a Strong Investment Case in the Making?

August 24, 2011

For years at Skate’s we have been consistently suspicious of Artprice, the French art market data provider and classified listing service for galleries (click here for Skate’s coverage of Artprice). This summer, however, quite a few of our readers have contacted us to ask that we reconsider our views, citing spectacular share price performance and volumes dynamics at Artprice. They did have strong arguments to disagree with our skeptical view of Artprice, whose stock saw a massive upward re-pricing in early April from USD 11.70 on April 6 to USD 40.90 on April 13 (converted to USD from EUR, which is Artprice’s base trading currency). It has remained at these new levels since then following yet another jump in late May, with no correlation whatsoever with either the market’s overall performance measured by the S&P 500 or with the industry as measured by Skate’s Art Stock Index benchmark.

To read the full article with data, please click here.

artnet: Back to Red, Auction Volume Flat against Sotheby’s 27% Same Period Growth, Price Database Profitability Down by 40%

August 15, 2011

artnet has reported its six months’ financial results, and, unlike the Sotheby’s numbers that we commented on last week (see Sotheby’s report), its performance is disappointing. Revenue fell to the sum reported in the same period of last year, the firm returned to a net loss and its bet to grow on the back of its online auction offering is not (yet) working.

For more than three years, artnet has consistently said that while it faces declines in gallery membership and information sales, the firm’s growth should come from the online auction business unit that it launched a few years ago. Unfortunately for artnet, the timing for the online auction launch largely coincided with the global economic meltdown of 2008, and the company’s management asked for the benefit of the doubt on the question of whether its online art trading would prosper once economic recovery resumed.

To read the full article with data, please click here.

Sotheby’s Six Month Report: Strong Results Lead to Astonishing Cash Numbers with Private Sales Becoming the Fastest Growing Line of Business; Dutch Exit and China Acquisition; Strong Buy Rating from Skate’s

August 10, 2011

Since last year, Skate’s has argued that it would make considerable sense for Christie’s to go public in 2011 given the generous valuation multiples in the art industry. The momentum, at least for this year, has been lost for Christie’s, as recent global stock market turbulence coupled with a stream of IPO cancellations have made it clear that investors’ appetite for new deals has fallen significantly. Francois Pinault was apparently unable to jump on the IPO bandwagon last year given the previously planned departure of Edward Dolman, the CEO of Christie’s for over 10 years who announced his move to the Qatar Over the past several weeks, a rollercoaster ride on global equity markets has taken investors’ attention away from news on individual companies and resulted in a massive sell-off of shares across the board. Although the impact of S&P’s U.S. debt downgrade and continued European debt troubles have yet to be fully digested by the market, now is a good time to revisit the fundamentals and take a closer look at the financial results of the major companies that make up Skate’s Art Stocks Index.

In this issue of Skate’s Market Notes, we will profile Sotheby’s, which published its second quarter and first half results on August 3 (the full report can be found at Skate’s Art Stocks & Funds section at http://www.skatepress.com).

To read the full article with data, please click here.


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