Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Vertical Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday, The Fly reports.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on AYI. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $198.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Wells Fargo reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $175.00 target price (down from $185.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Williams Capital lowered shares of Acuity Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $204.00 to $175.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Seaport Global Securities reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Thursday, January 11th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Acuity Brands from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $177.82.

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Shares of NYSE AYI traded up $0.19 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $130.86. 163,724 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 837,806. Acuity Brands has a 1 year low of $119.02 and a 1 year high of $208.82. The firm has a market capitalization of $5,514.30, a P/E ratio of 16.38, a PEG ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 1.33. The company has a quick ratio of 1.51, a current ratio of 2.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 4th. The electronics maker reported $1.89 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.95 by ($0.06). Acuity Brands had a net margin of 9.68% and a return on equity of 20.56%. The business had revenue of $832.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $799.33 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.77 EPS. Acuity Brands’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Acuity Brands will post 7.99 EPS for the current year.

Acuity Brands announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, April 4th that permits the company to repurchase 6,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the electronics maker to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. bought a new position in Acuity Brands in the 4th quarter worth approximately $151,000. Shelton Capital Management bought a new position in Acuity Brands in the 4th quarter worth approximately $201,000. Montag & Caldwell LLC bought a new position in Acuity Brands in the 4th quarter worth approximately $212,000. Amica Retiree Medical Trust bought a new position in Acuity Brands in the 4th quarter worth approximately $218,000. Finally, Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new position in Acuity Brands in the 4th quarter worth approximately $219,000.

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About Acuity Brands

Acuity Brands, Inc provides lighting and building management solutions and services for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure, and residential applications in North America and internationally. The company offers lighting and controls products and solutions, such as recessed, surface, and suspended lighting; down, decorative, emergency and exit, track, day, special-use, street and roadway, parking garage, landscape, and underwater lighting; area pedestrian, flood, and decorative site lighting; occupancy sensors; photo controls; relay panels; architectural dimming panels; and integrated lighting controls systems.

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Analyst Recommendations for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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