Category Archives: BID

Post Vacation Surprises

One relaxing week in the heartland of France did more good for my portfolio than I’d expected. Though I knew the wine would be good, the company excellent, and the sites spectacular; I’m relieved the market pulled back strongly. The recent option plays I’ve written about have done surprisingly well and only regret not playing the positions more agressively:

Now that the pissing match in Washington has concluded as expected… (See July 28th Post). I simply remain disgusted with our elected officials, just more so. The best tag-line I’ve seen has to be: “Did Sarah Palin’s “Hells No” Call The Market Top?” Funny. Stupid, but Funny.

It’s now time to move on to other dramas. Europe is still on vacation, for at least two more weeks I expect we’ll only see Press Release/Talking Head market conversation and very little “real” information. Even with the ECB bond buying, weakness is likely to prevail for the remainder of August. That’s my sceptical view, in any case. Italy might not be as bad as panicky investors are imagining. This article on VOX seems fairly written. The slide continues, though the Euro is showing surprising resilience.

I’m still holding the SPY Butterfly but have closed the other positions.

If you want to buy a nice pad in NY, let me know. Upper East Side, 2 blocks from the park, great kitchen!

I’ll be updating during the day, happy to be back!

Sotheby’s Aug 45/40 Put Spread

Late last Thursday I saw a post by OptionTactician on StockTwits for a Put Spread on BID which caught my attention. The trade would have been picked up on livevol or another scanner, though I didn’t see it, and I’ve been following it since. So thanks goes to OptionTactician.

The Spread is working out very well since initiated on Thursday. The spread cost about $1.00 on Thursday and now with Sotheby’s pulling back to 45 it costs about $1.75 today.

What caught my attention is the last SEC 8-K filing submitted the same day, July 7th. It looks like the golden parachute for William S. Sheridan, (Forbes Profile) Executive Vice President and CFO of Sotheby’s.

He is very well paid and takes 2.2 million in cash if they “can” him over the next two years, plus a bunch of other goodies, of course!

The week earlier an 8-K for restructuring and layoffs was submitted: a 45% headcount reduction in Italy and the Netherlands corresponding to 2% worldwide.

Which brings my back to this Put Spread. There must be a connection, I’d like to know where… The OI in August is very heavy on the Put side. Maybe we’re going to see some weakness here in the medium term.

Another amusing tid-bit: The Deputy Chairman of the Board is The Duke of Devonshire. Here’s is Bio from Reuters. I love it. You’ll see my “About Me” updated in a simalar fashion soon…

The Duke of Devonshire, KCVO, CBE, is Deputy Chairman of the Board of Sothebys since April 1996. He was formerly Marquess of Hartington, became a director of the Company in September 1994. In March 2008, he was appointed Chancellor of the University of Derby, England. In 2007, the Duke became a Trustee of the Wallace Collection, a London arts museum, and the Storm King Arts Center in New York and a Patron of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust. In 2006, he became a Trustee of the Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust. The Duke was a Trustee of Ascot Racecourse from 1982—2011 and held the posts of Chairman (1997-2008) and Majesty’s Representative (1997-2001). In 1997, he was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for “services to horseracing”. The Duke was knighted in the New Year’s Honours List (January 2009), being awarded a KCVO (Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) for service to the Crown. The Duke of Devonshire assists in the management of family estates in England, including Chatsworth, and in Ireland as well as of The Devonshire Arms (Bolton Abbey) Limited, which operates three luxury hotels in England. He also oversees the Devonshire Collection, a private art collection.