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February 22, 2013  Fri 3:47 AM CT

BID: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
Sotheby's is attracting bullish option activity ahead of its earnings report next week.

More than 1,600 March 38 contracts were bought in less than 10 minutes yesterday, most of them going for $1.35, according to optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker tracking system. The volume was 11 times the strike's open interest of just 143 contracts before the session began, clearly indicating new activity.

BID slipped 0.11 percent to $37.54 yesterday. Shares of the auction house bounced off long-term support around $28 last November and have been rising ever since.

Wedbush raised its price target on the stock to $45 from $38 yesterday while maintaining an "outperform" rating. Sotheby's is scheduled to release fourth-quarter results next Thursday, Feb. 28.

Yesterday's call buying, which locked in the price where shares can be purchased, is looking for BID to gain roughly 5 percent or more in the next three weeks. But if the stock remains below the $38 strike price, the options will expire worthless. (See our Education section)

Total option volume in the name neared 2,700 contracts yesterday, more than 5 times its daily average in the last month. 
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