Capital Analysts LLC boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) by 42.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 970 shares of the electronics maker’s stock after buying an additional 290 shares during the period. Capital Analysts LLC’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $197,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 3.5% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,182,010 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $853,130,000 after buying an additional 141,804 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 2,916.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,776,299 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $770,366,000 after buying an additional 3,651,096 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 5.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,024,076 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $412,907,000 after buying an additional 100,424 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 36.0% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,380,043 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $281,526,000 after buying an additional 365,466 shares during the period. Finally, Congress Asset Management Co. MA increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 13.5% in the second quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA now owns 529,335 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $107,603,000 after buying an additional 62,948 shares during the period. 95.15% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Acuity Brands Inc (AYI) opened at 173.99 on Wednesday. Acuity Brands Inc has a 12-month low of $157.33 and a 12-month high of $278.21. The stock has a market cap of $7.50 billion, a PE ratio of 24.27 and a beta of 1.41. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $194.54 and its 200-day moving average is $190.79.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.03 by $0.12. The business had revenue of $891.60 million for 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 company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $2.06 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.31 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were issued a $0.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 14th. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.30%. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is 7.24%.

Acuity Brands declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to repurchase 2,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the electronics maker to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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Several equities analysts have recently commented on AYI shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $200.00 price objective (up from $196.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Wolfe Research started coverage on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $237.00 price objective for the company. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. lowered their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $265.00 to $215.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Robert W. Baird decreased their price target on shares of Acuity Brands from $242.00 to $200.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. Acuity Brands currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $219.00.

In other 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed 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 transaction, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $200,050. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 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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