Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Acuity Brands, Inc. is comprised of the Acuity Lighting Group and Acuity Specialty Products. The Acuity Lighting Group is the world’s largest lighting fixture manufacturer and includes brands such as Lithonia Lighting, Holophane, Peerless, and Hydrel. Acuity Specialty Products is a leading provider of specialty chemicals and includes brands such as Zep, Enforcer, and Selig. “

Several other research firms also recently issued reports on AYI. Roth Capital assumed coverage on Acuity Brands in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $275.00 target price on the stock. William Blair reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $295.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Friday, September 16th. DA Davidson reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $255.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, October 4th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $305.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Acuity Brands presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $275.36.

Analyst Recommendations for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

Shares of Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) traded up 1.79% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $246.48. The company had a trading volume of 360,346 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average of $259.10 and a 200 day moving average of $257.05. The company has a market capitalization of $10.77 billion, a PE ratio of 37.18 and a beta of 1.46. Acuity Brands has a one year low of $169.42 and a one year high of $280.89.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 5th. The company reported $2.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.39 by $0.18. The company had revenue of $925.50 million for the quarter. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 20.99% and a net margin of 8.84%. Acuity Brands’s quarterly revenue was up 21.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.63 EPS. Analysts predict that Acuity Brands will post $9.70 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 14th. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.21%. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 7.83%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AYI. Stephens Inc. AR boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 0.4% in the second quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 998 shares of the company’s stock worth $247,000 after buying an additional 4 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 1.1% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 929 shares of the company’s stock worth $230,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the period. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 1.5% in the second quarter. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC now owns 1,362 shares of the company’s stock worth $338,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the period. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 1.1% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 2,130 shares of the company’s stock worth $528,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the period. Finally, Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 2.5% in the second quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 1,106 shares of the company’s stock worth $247,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. 93.22% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Acuity Brands Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AYI

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