BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) by 12.8% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 4,260,836 shares of the electronics maker’s stock after purchasing an additional 484,537 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned approximately 9.89% of Acuity Brands worth $866,145,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other large investors have also bought and sold shares of AYI. Seven Bridges Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the 2nd quarter valued at about $117,000. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 7.7% during the 1st quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 614 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $125,000 after purchasing an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. Israel Discount Bank of New York boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 32.3% during the 2nd quarter. Israel Discount Bank of New York now owns 615 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $125,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 204.1% during the 1st quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 745 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $152,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Penserra Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 21.1% during the 2nd quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 780 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $158,000 after purchasing an additional 136 shares in the last quarter.

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Shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE AYI) opened at 157.66 on Wednesday. Acuity Brands Inc has a 52-week low of $153.28 and a 52-week high of $267.08. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $181.93 and a 200-day moving average of $185.88. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.99 and a beta of 1.42.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 period in the previous year, the firm earned $2.06 EPS. Acuity Brands’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

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

AYI has been the subject of several research reports. 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. Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $237.00 price objective for the company. Roth Capital restated a “sell” rating and set a $150.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Cowen and Company reduced their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $230.00 to $226.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. Acuity Brands presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $216.53.

Acuity Brands Profile

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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