Arizona State Retirement System continued to hold its stake in shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 10,900 shares of the electronics maker’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $2,216,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 1.9% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 13,225 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $2,697,000 after buying an additional 245 shares during the last quarter. Nippon Life Insurance Co. increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 134.5% in the first quarter. Nippon Life Insurance Co. now owns 5,402 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $1,102,000 after buying an additional 3,098 shares during the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 34.7% in the first quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 3,278 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $669,000 after buying an additional 844 shares during the last quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 6.3% in the first quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 1,176 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $224,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Finally, ProShare Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 8.7% in the first quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 5,896 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $1,203,000 after buying an additional 472 shares during the last quarter. 95.15% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) opened at 178.33 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $197.82 and a 200 day moving average price of $191.84. Acuity Brands Inc has a 52 week low of $157.33 and a 52 week high of $280.89. The stock has a market cap of $7.69 billion, a PE ratio of 24.88 and a beta of 1.41.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.03 by $0.12. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 19.89% and a net margin of 9.04%. The business had revenue of $891.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $878.66 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $2.06 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.31 earnings per share for the current year.

Acuity Brands announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the electronics maker to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were paid a $0.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, July 14th. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.29%. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 7.24%.

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AYI has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 price objective (down from $245.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Zacks Investment Research raised Acuity Brands from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $193.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $200.00 price objective (up from $196.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $206.00 price objective (down from $210.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Finally, Roth Capital set a $150.00 price objective on Acuity Brands and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $219.00.

In other Acuity Brands news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total transaction of $1,114,108.83. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total value of $194,048.50. Following the sale, the director now 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 company insiders.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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