Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. decreased its position in Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) by 9.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 2,476 shares of the electronics maker’s stock after selling 250 shares during the period. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P.’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $503,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of AYI. Seven Bridges Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Acuity Brands during the second quarter worth about $117,000. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted 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 worth $125,000 after buying an additional 44 shares during the period. Capital Analysts LLC boosted 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 worth $139,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the period. Global X Management Co. LLC boosted 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 worth $152,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the period. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted 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 worth $173,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. 95.15% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Acuity Brands Inc (AYI) opened at 173.99 on Wednesday. Acuity Brands Inc has a one year low of $157.33 and a one year high of $278.21. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $194.54 and its 200-day moving average price is $190.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.50 billion, a PE ratio of 24.27 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 for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 return on equity of 19.89% and a net margin of 9.04%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.06 EPS. Analysts expect that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.31 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.30%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, July 14th. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is presently 7.24%.

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

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A number of analysts recently issued reports on AYI shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price target on Acuity Brands from $215.00 to $245.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $215.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, June 30th. BidaskClub raised Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 1st. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $206.00 price target (down previously from $210.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Monday, June 19th. Three 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. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $219.00.

In other news, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of Acuity Brands stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the director now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,050. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of Acuity Brands stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total transaction of $1,114,108.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is currently owned by 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.

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

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