Zacks Investment Research Lowers Acuity Brands (AYI) to Sell
Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Acuity Brands lost 15.3% in the last six months, more than its industry's loss of 14.3%. Earnings estimates for the current quarter and the year have remained unchanged over the last 30 days, limiting upside potential for the stock. Acuity Brands operates in a highly competitive industry that is affected by volatility owing to a number of general business and economic factors. Higher spending on research and development of energy efficient lighting products dent margins and thereby the bottom line of the company. Gross profit margin in the fourth quarter decreased 80 basis points year over year owing to the lower-than-expected sales volume. Again, increased volatility, higher costs, reliance on one client and escalating interest/mortgage rates might weigh on the stock.”
Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $198.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Williams Capital lowered Acuity Brands from a buy rating to a hold rating and decreased their target price for the company from $204.00 to $175.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Seaport Global Securities reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a market perform rating and set a $175.00 target price (down from $185.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $196.23.
Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 9th. The electronics maker reported $1.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.97 by ($0.16). Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 20.08% and a net margin of 8.91%. The business had revenue of $842.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $883.97 million. analysts anticipate that Acuity Brands will post 8.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB increased its holdings in shares of Acuity Brands by 3.6% in the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 10,818 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $1,904,000 after acquiring an additional 376 shares during the period. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp increased its holdings in shares of Acuity Brands by 13.9% in the 4th quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 27,213 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $4,789,000 after acquiring an additional 3,322 shares during the period. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Acuity Brands by 60.0% in the 4th quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 2,400 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $422,000 after acquiring an additional 900 shares during the period. Slow Capital Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Acuity Brands in the 4th quarter valued at $402,000. Finally, Peloton Wealth Strategists increased its holdings in shares of Acuity Brands by 13.4% in the 4th quarter. Peloton Wealth Strategists now owns 13,740 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $2,418,000 after acquiring an additional 1,625 shares during the period.
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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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