Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI)’s share price fell 3.3% during mid-day trading on Wednesday after the company announced weaker than expected quarterly earnings. The stock traded as low as $228.80 and last traded at $246.69, with a volume of 1,588,439 shares. The stock had previously closed at $255.00.

The company reported $2.21 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.39 by $0.18. The business earned $925.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $946.53 million. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 8.57% and a return on equity of 20.66%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 21.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.63 EPS.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 18th will be issued a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.21%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 14th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 8.48%.

Several research firms have commented on AYI. Roth Capital set a $275.00 price target on Acuity Brands and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, October 1st. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Wednesday, June 29th. Credit Agricole SA restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $270.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, July 1st. William Blair reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $285.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, June 24th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $279.10.

In other Acuity Brands news, CFO Richard K. Reece sold 33,430 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Vernon J. Nagel sold 65,060 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $268.30, for a total value of $17,455,598.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Meeder Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the second quarter worth about $153,000. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the second quarter worth about $163,000. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the second quarter worth about $174,000. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd raised its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 250.0% in the second quarter. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd now owns 700 shares of the company’s stock worth $174,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 9.2% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 771 shares of the company’s stock worth $191,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the last quarter. 93.26% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

The firm has a market cap of $10.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.70 and a beta of 1.46. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $266.56 and its 200 day moving average price is $255.57.

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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