Investors Purchase High Volume of Acuity Brands Call Options (NYSE:AYI)

Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock investors bought 642 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 683% compared to the average daily volume of 82 call options.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C grew its position in Acuity Brands by 1.6% during the first quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 1,619,274 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $138,707,000 after buying an additional 26,085 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its position in Acuity Brands by 7.3% during the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,616,964 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $138,510,000 after buying an additional 110,089 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its position in Acuity Brands by 2.0% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,398,364 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $119,784,000 after buying an additional 27,491 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in Acuity Brands by 12.6% during the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,023,116 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $141,190,000 after buying an additional 114,116 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Acuity Brands by 121.3% in the 4th quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 972,906 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $134,261,000 after purchasing an additional 533,321 shares in the last quarter. 92.09% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research analysts recently commented on AYI shares. Roth Capital reduced their price target on Acuity Brands from $100.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Monday, March 16th. Oppenheimer upgraded Acuity Brands from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $135.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Sunday, June 7th. Goldman Sachs Group lowered Acuity Brands from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, June 15th. ValuEngine upgraded Acuity Brands from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 11th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on Acuity Brands from $111.00 to $109.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $101.56.

Shares of NYSE AYI opened at $89.33 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $3.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.55, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 1.36. The company has a current ratio of 2.29, a quick ratio of 1.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21. Acuity Brands has a 1-year low of $67.46 and a 1-year high of $143.55. The business’s 50 day moving average is $90.07 and its 200-day moving average is $103.09.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, June 30th. The electronics maker reported $1.94 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.72. The company had revenue of $776.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $746.61 million. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 17.18% and a net margin of 8.43%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 18.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.53 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Acuity Brands will post 6.33 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, July 17th will be given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.58%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 16th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 5.78%.

Acuity Brands Company Profile

Acuity Brands, Inc provides lighting and building management solutions and services for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure, and residential applications in North America and internationally. The company offers lighting and control products and solutions, including recessed, surface, and suspended lighting; down, decorative, emergency and exit, track, day, special-use, street and roadway, parking garage, underwater, area pedestrian, flood, decorative site, and landscape lighting; occupancy sensors; photo controls; relay panels; architectural dimming panels; and integrated lighting controls systems.

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