Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Acuity Brands Inc. (AYI) to Sell
Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors 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. “
Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Roth Capital set a $275.00 price target on Acuity Brands and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, October 1st. Credit Agricole SA reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $270.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Friday, July 1st. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $295.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Canaccord Genuity raised Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $305.00 to $286.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. Finally, William Blair reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Monday, July 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $275.36.
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Shares of Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) traded up 1.90% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $244.65. The company had a trading volume of 437,546 shares. Acuity Brands has a 52 week low of $169.42 and a 52 week high of $280.89. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $262.57 and its 200 day moving average is $256.25. The company has a market capitalization of $10.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.90 and a beta of 1.46.
Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 5th. The company reported $2.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.39 by $0.18. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 20.99% and a net margin of 8.84%. The firm had revenue of $925.50 million for the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.63 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 21.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Acuity Brands will post $9.70 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 14th. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.22%. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio is presently 7.83%.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AYI. First National Bank of Omaha purchased a new stake in Acuity Brands during the third quarter valued at $5,102,000. Creative Planning boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 6.9% in the third quarter. Creative Planning now owns 4,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,270,000 after buying an additional 310 shares during the last quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 2.7% in the third quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 34,959 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,250,000 after buying an additional 912 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 9.0% in the third quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 2,015 shares of the company’s stock valued at $534,000 after buying an additional 166 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 72.9% in the third quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 16,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,255,000 after buying an additional 6,780 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 93.27% of the company’s stock.
Acuity Brands Company Profile
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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