Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) has been assigned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the fourteen research firms that are covering the firm. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating on the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $275.90.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on AYI. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Acuity Brands from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Seaport Global Securities began coverage on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, November 4th. They set a “buy” rating and a $290.00 price target for the company. Wells Fargo & Co. raised shares of Acuity Brands from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, October 31st. William Blair reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, October 14th. Finally, Roth Capital reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $250.00 price target (down from $275.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, October 7th.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AYI. Capital Fund Management S.A. boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 247.8% in the second quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. now owns 63,423 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,726,000 after buying an additional 45,185 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 4.5% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 262,514 shares of the company’s stock worth $57,231,000 after buying an additional 11,215 shares during the period. Congress Asset Management Co. MA boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 2.6% in the second quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA now owns 195,486 shares of the company’s stock worth $48,473,000 after buying an additional 4,976 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 400.1% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 172,106 shares of the company’s stock worth $37,543,000 after buying an additional 137,695 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 38.2% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,170 shares of the company’s stock worth $538,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the period. 93.57% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) opened at 253.56 on Monday. Acuity Brands has a 1-year low of $169.42 and a 1-year high of $280.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.24 and a beta of 1.34. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $242.17 and a 200-day moving average of $254.91.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last released its quarterly earnings data 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. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 20.99% and a net margin of 8.84%. The business earned $925.50 million during the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.63 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 21.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Acuity Brands will post $9.51 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 18th were given a $0.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, October 14th. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.21%. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is currently 7.83%.

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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