Everence Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) by 114.4% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 2,418 shares of the electronics maker’s stock after buying an additional 1,290 shares during the period. Everence Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $492,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Seven Bridges Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Acuity Brands during the second quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 7.7% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 614 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 44 shares during the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 3.8% in the first quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 680 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 204.1% in the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 745 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 3.3% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 846 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $173,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE AYI) opened at 178.33 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $7.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.88 and a beta of 1.41. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $197.82 and a 200-day moving average of $191.84. Acuity Brands Inc has a one year low of $157.33 and a one year high of $280.89.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 14th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio is presently 7.24%.

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

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AYI has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $215.00 to $245.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Friday, June 30th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 1st. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated 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. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $219.00.

In other news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total value of $1,114,108.83. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $200,050. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.40% 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.

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

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