KeyCorp initiated coverage on shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) in a report published on Friday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The firm issued a sector weight rating on the electronics maker’s stock.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Robert W. Baird reduced their target price on shares of Acuity Brands from $242.00 to $200.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. They issued an outperform rating and a $237.00 price objective for the company. BidaskClub lowered shares of Acuity Brands from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. dropped their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $265.00 to $215.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Cowen and Company dropped their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $230.00 to $226.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 30th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $197.17.

Acuity Brands (AYI) opened at 164.89 on Friday. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $171.63 and a 200-day moving average of $180.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.91 billion, a PE ratio of 22.19 and a beta of 1.43. Acuity Brands has a 52 week low of $153.28 and a 52 week high of $261.43.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 4th. The electronics maker reported $2.55 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.30 by $0.25. The business had revenue of $957.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $975.05 million. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 9.18% and a return on equity of 20.47%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $2.21 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Acuity Brands will post $9.07 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 17th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 6.99%.

Acuity Brands declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the electronics maker to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AYI. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 2,916.1% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,776,299 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $770,366,000 after buying an additional 3,651,096 shares during the period. Standard Life Investments LTD boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 24.9% in the second quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD now owns 1,786,392 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $363,146,000 after purchasing an additional 356,199 shares during the period. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 19.6% in the second quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 1,413,636 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $287,363,000 after purchasing an additional 231,406 shares during the period. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D purchased a new position in shares of Acuity Brands in the second quarter valued at approximately $40,656,000. Finally, Kensico Capital Management Corp purchased a new position in shares of Acuity Brands in the first quarter valued at approximately $38,760,000.

Acuity Brands Company 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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