We've taken cursory looks at Sotheby's in the past and find the current valuation quite interesting. After all, Sotheby's is one of only two dominant high-end auction houses, enjoying a wide moat around their businesses.
Of course, as with all companies that relaxed their business practices during the recent boom period, Sotheby's has gotten in some trouble for essentially guaranteeing minimum auction sales prices to some providers of highly prized auction merchandise. While these contingencies likely had a negative impact on the stock, they do not appear to have threatened Sotheby's existence.
When art prices inevitably recover, especially under an inflationary scenario that appears increasingly likely in the U.S., Sotheby's revenue and profits should also rebound nicely. Finally, the company owns its significant headquarters building in New York City, giving investors a small stake in another inflation hedge -- real estate.
Disclosure: No position.