Acuity Brands Inc. (AYI) Sees Strong Trading Volume After Dividend Announcement
Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Friday after the company announced a dividend. Approximately 284,763 shares were traded during mid-day trading, a decline of 9% from the previous session’s volume of 311,693 shares.The stock last traded at $264.12 and had previously closed at $260.41.
The newly announced dividend which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 18th will be given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.20%. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 8.48%.
A number of equities analysts have commented on AYI shares. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Acuity Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 30th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $295.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, September 16th. Roth Capital initiated coverage on Acuity Brands in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $275.00 target price for the company. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $305.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday. Finally, William Blair reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Monday, July 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Acuity Brands currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $281.78.
The firm has a market capitalization of $11.51 billion, a PE ratio of 43.23 and a beta of 1.61. The company has a 50-day moving average of $268.40 and a 200 day moving average of $254.64.
Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 29th. The company reported $2.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.03 by $0.03. The firm earned $851.50 million during the quarter. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 20.66% and a net margin of 8.57%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.37 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Acuity Brands Inc. will post $8.01 EPS for the current year.
In other news, CEO Vernon J. Nagel sold 65,060 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $268.30, for a total transaction of $17,455,598.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Richard K. Reece sold 33,430 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $269.07, for a total value of $8,995,010.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AYI. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc increased its position in Acuity Brands by 9.9% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $460,000 after buying an additional 189 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC increased its position in Acuity Brands by 39.0% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 6,652 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,451,000 after buying an additional 1,866 shares during the last quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. increased its position in Acuity Brands by 11.5% in the first quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. now owns 12,185 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,658,000 after buying an additional 1,255 shares during the last quarter. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware increased its position in Acuity Brands by 5.1% in the first quarter. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware now owns 16,993 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,707,000 after buying an additional 822 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Acuity Brands by 76.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 82,933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,091,000 after buying an additional 35,847 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 93.26% of the company’s stock.
About Acuity Brands
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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