Acuity Brands Inc. (AYI) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research
Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Acuity Brands, Inc. is comprised of the Acuity Lighting Group and Acuity Specialty Products. The Acuity Lighting Group is the world’s largest lighting fixture manufacturer and includes brands such as Lithonia Lighting, Holophane, Peerless, and Hydrel. Acuity Specialty Products is a leading provider of specialty chemicals and includes brands such as Zep, Enforcer, and Selig. “
A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Roth Capital reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $250.00 price target (down previously from $275.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Friday, October 7th. Robert W. Baird set a $272.00 target price on Acuity Brands and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. Cowen and Company set a $285.00 target price on Acuity Brands and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. Canaccord Genuity upgraded Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $305.00 to $286.00 in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. Finally, DA Davidson reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $255.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, October 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $275.36.
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Shares of Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) traded up 1.90% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $244.65. 460,877 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $262.57 and a 200 day moving average of $256.25. The company has a market capitalization of $10.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.90 and a beta of 1.46. Acuity Brands has a 12-month low of $169.42 and a 12-month high of $280.89.
Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 5th. The company reported $2.21 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.39 by $0.18. The company earned $925.50 million during the quarter. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 8.84% and a return on equity of 20.99%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 21.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.63 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Acuity Brands will post $9.70 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 18th will be issued a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.22%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 14th. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is presently 7.83%.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 9.9% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $460,000 after buying an additional 189 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 39.0% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 6,652 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,451,000 after buying an additional 1,866 shares during the last quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 11.5% in the first quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. now owns 12,185 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,658,000 after buying an additional 1,255 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 76.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 82,933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,091,000 after buying an additional 35,847 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 67.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 308,397 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,273,000 after buying an additional 124,099 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.27% of the company’s stock.
About Acuity Brands
Acuity Brands, Inc (Acuity Brands), is the parent company of Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc (ABL), and other subsidiaries. Acuity Brands is a provider of lighting solutions for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure, and residential applications throughout North America and select international markets.
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