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With Sotheby's getting pounded and having shown good results in Q2 and in its recent auctions, I'd like to jump in. However, I may wait until after the Q3 results, since Sotheby's says Q1 and Q3 are their slowest quarters and I assume this Q3 will be no different.

According to the 2nd quarter's 10Q, the contractual obligations due in less than a year are $180m and the total over 3 years is $290m. Given that they have $375m in cash, I would think that they will not have any problem meeting their financing obligations.

On the other hand, there is $762m in "other current assets" listed on the balance sheet found on the tmf stock quote page, which I can only think is the same thing as a $752m liability due to cosignors from the 10Q. Are these the same thing?

Receivables have also jumped from $729m to $1,140m. Assuming the $752 and $762 are the same things, are both the increase in receivables and the high liability to cosignors from transactions from recent auctions? In other words, is Sotheby's holding both the money it owes to the sellers and the amount it should recieve from the buyers on its balance sheet until all the checks go through?

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I don't know the answer to your question, but the jump in receivables (and inventories) seems in line with both sales and the seasonal pattern. While that is somewhat reassuring, I am still concerned that the financial squeeze may lead to writedowns in receivables and inventories.

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