Wells Fargo & Company Downgrades Acuity Brands Inc (AYI) to Market Perform
Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) was downgraded by stock analysts at Wells Fargo & Company from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report issued on Friday, MarketBeat.com reports.
AYI has been the subject of several other research reports. BidaskClub cut shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Robert W. Baird reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $206.00 target price (down previously from $210.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Deutsche Bank AG upped their target price on shares of Acuity Brands from $215.00 to $245.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Acuity Brands currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $219.00.
Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) traded down 4.21% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $170.50. The stock had a trading volume of 1,657,606 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $184.25 and its 200-day moving average is $186.96. The company has a market cap of $7.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.78 and a beta of 1.42. Acuity Brands has a one year low of $157.33 and a one year high of $267.08.
Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $891.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $878.66 million. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 9.04% and a return on equity of 19.89%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.06 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Acuity Brands will post $8.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Acuity Brands declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to repurchase 2,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the electronics maker to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
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In related news, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total value of $194,048.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,050. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 14th. The stock was 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 currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 2.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,299,432 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $873,989,000 after purchasing an additional 117,422 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 12.8% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,260,836 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $866,145,000 after buying an additional 484,537 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 5.2% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,024,076 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $412,907,000 after buying an additional 100,424 shares during the last quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 24.9% during the 2nd quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD now owns 1,786,392 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $363,146,000 after buying an additional 356,199 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 19.6% during the 2nd quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 1,413,636 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $287,363,000 after buying an additional 231,406 shares during the last quarter.
About Acuity Brands
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.
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