Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) has earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the seventeen ratings firms that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $220.64.

AYI has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $215.00 to $245.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $215.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, June 30th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 1st. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $206.00 price objective (down from $210.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Monday, June 19th.

Shares of Acuity Brands (AYI) opened at 181.15 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $198.40 and a 200-day moving average of $192.02. Acuity Brands has a 12-month low of $157.33 and a 12-month high of $280.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.81 billion, a PE ratio of 25.27 and a beta of 1.41.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $878.66 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $2.06 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Acuity Brands will post $8.31 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, July 18th were paid a $0.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 14th. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.29%. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is 7.24%.

Acuity Brands declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to repurchase 2,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the electronics maker to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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In related news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total value of $1,114,108.83. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total transaction of $194,048.50. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $200,050. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 661.1% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 548 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 476 shares during the period. Seven Bridges Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Acuity Brands during the second quarter valued at approximately $117,000. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 11.0% in the second quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 586 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $119,000 after buying an additional 58 shares during the period. QS Investors LLC increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 1.2% in the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 588 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the period. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 7.7% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 614 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 44 shares during the period. 95.15% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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