Ritchie Bros Auctioneers last week reported its fourth-quarter profit fell to U.S. $9.8 million, a near 31-percent drop from the same period in 2005 when the bottom line was buoyed by real-estate deals. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, gross auction sales were $738.7 million, a 25.2 percent year-over-year increase from Q405, when the company’s gross auction sales were $589.9 million. Auction revenue increased from $59.9 million in the year-ago period to $70.1 million in the recently completed quarter.
Ritchie Bros.’ annual profit was $57.2 million or $1.64 per share, a 7-percent increase from 2005’s profit of $53.6 million and $1.54 per diluted weighted average share.
The company also announced last week that its board of directors adopted a shareholder rights plan to prevent takeover bids that treat shareholders unfairly. The company said the plan is not in response to or anticipation of any specific takeover bid.