NEW YORK—On May 23, Sotheby’s Holdings announced the election of Dennis Weibling to its board of directors. Weibling is managing director of Rally Capital LLC, a private equity fund. He also serves as a director of Nextel Partners Inc., Kirkland, Wash., according to the Sotheby’s statement.
Separately, Sotheby’s announced it has amended its long-term revolving credit agreement with Banc of America Securities and LaSalle Bank N.A. to allow for $50 million in additional commitments from the auction house’s existing lenders. This increases the total borrowing capacity under the Banc of America credit agreement from $250 million to $300 million.
Said CEO William Ruprecht: “This is a very positive step and a reaffirmation of our strong credit and balance sheet strength as well as sustained earnings growth.”
Sotheby’s stock reached a high around $34 on May 8 and has declined in recent weeks following its first quarter earnings report (ANL, 5/23/06). On June 1, analysts at Wedbush Morgan reiterated their “strong buy” recommendation of Sotheby’s stock. Wedbush raised its 2006 and 2007 earnings per-share estimates for the company from $1.25 to $1.35 and from $1.37 to $1.45, respectively. The Wedbush Morgan target price for the stock is $34. As ARTnewsletter went to press, the stock closed at $27.97, up $1.22, or 4.6 percent, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.