Wolfe Research assumed coverage on shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) in a research report report published on Tuesday, July 11th. The firm issued an outperform rating and a $237.00 price objective on the electronics maker’s stock.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on AYI. Roth Capital set a $150.00 price target on Acuity Brands and gave the company a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, March 22nd. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, March 28th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Acuity Brands from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, March 20th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a buy rating and set a $215.00 price objective (down previously from $245.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, May 30th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Acuity Brands currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $219.00.

Shares of Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) traded down 0.63% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $196.52. The company had a trading volume of 340,239 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average of $195.51 and a 200 day moving average of $193.34. Acuity Brands has a 12 month low of $157.33 and a 12 month high of $280.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.47 billion, a PE ratio of 27.41 and a beta of 1.41.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.12. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 9.04% and a return on equity of 19.89%. The firm had revenue of $891.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $878.66 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $2.06 earnings per share. Acuity Brands’s revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Acuity Brands will post $8.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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Acuity Brands announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to repurchase 2,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the electronics maker to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, July 18th were paid a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.26%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 14th. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is presently 7.24%.

In related news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of Acuity Brands stock in a transaction on Friday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total value of $1,114,108.83. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of Acuity Brands stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total transaction of $194,048.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,050. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 162,721 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $37,568,000 after buying an additional 3,115 shares during the period. GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $552,000. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $70,102,000. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 104,821 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $24,198,000 after buying an additional 728 shares during the period. Finally, Perigon Wealth Management LLC increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 83.0% in the fourth quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 4,464 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $936,000 after buying an additional 2,025 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

About Acuity Brands

Acuity Brands, Inc is a provider of lighting solutions for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure and residential applications throughout North America and other international markets. The Company operates through North American segment. The Company offers a portfolio of indoor and outdoor lighting and building management solutions for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure and residential applications.

Analyst Recommendations for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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