Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) was downgraded by equities researchers at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on AYI. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 target price (down from $245.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Acuity Brands from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $193.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $200.00 target price (up from $196.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $206.00 target price (down from $210.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Finally, Roth Capital set a $150.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $219.00.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) traded up 0.33% during trading on Friday, reaching $185.69. 376,085 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Acuity Brands has a 1-year low of $157.33 and a 1-year high of $280.89. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $197.70 and a 200 day moving average of $192.77. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.00 billion, a PE ratio of 25.90 and a beta of 1.41.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.03 by $0.12. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 9.04% and a return on equity of 19.89%. The business had revenue of $891.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $878.66 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $2.06 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Acuity Brands will post $8.31 EPS for the current year.

Acuity Brands announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the electronics maker to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Acuity Brands news, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total transaction of $194,048.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $200,050. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total transaction of $1,114,108.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC raised its stake in Acuity Brands by 294.7% in the second quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC now owns 13,837 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $2,813,000 after buying an additional 10,331 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its stake in Acuity Brands by 269.3% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 215,728 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $43,853,000 after buying an additional 157,308 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in Acuity Brands by 8.5% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,023 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $409,000 after buying an additional 159 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its stake in Acuity Brands by 50.3% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 42,522 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $8,644,000 after buying an additional 14,233 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cibc World Markets Corp raised its stake in Acuity Brands by 35.0% in the second quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp now owns 6,238 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $1,268,000 after buying an additional 1,618 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

Acuity Brands Company Profile

Acuity Brands, Inc is a provider of lighting solutions for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure and residential applications throughout North America and other international markets. The Company operates through North American segment. The Company offers a portfolio of indoor and outdoor lighting and building management solutions for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure and residential applications.

Analyst Recommendations for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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