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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sotheby's sets dividend, share buybacks, investors shrug, (NYSE: BID)

Sotheby's said on Wednesday it will return $450 million to investors through a special dividend and a share buyback, but the moves got a lukewarm reception from investors including two activist hedge fund managers who have been pressuring the venerable auction house to make changes.The announcement comes four months after 270-year old Sotheby's pledged in September to review how it spends its money after Richard McGuire's Marcato Capital Mangement and Daniel Loeb's Third Point took big stakes over the summer.Marcato Capital Management said the steps do not go far enough. Loeb declined to comment.Sotheby's shares jumped in pre-market trading on the investor friendly moves, then lost all gains to trade virtually unchanged at $48.91.

Sotheby?s is a global auctioneer of authenticated fine art, decorative art, and jewelry. Shares of BID fell by 0.12% or $-0.06/share to $48.82. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $32.95 and as high as $54.00. On average, 956131 shares of BID exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 1337775.