Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) gapped up prior to trading on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $250.32, but opened at $251.24. Acuity Brands shares last traded at $253.99, with a volume of 103,507 shares trading hands.

AYI has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $247.00 price target (down previously from $265.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Monday, April 4th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, March 21st. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $295.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Thursday, June 30th. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. Finally, Credit Agricole SA restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $270.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, July 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Acuity Brands has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $274.14.

The company has a 50-day moving average of $251.17 and a 200-day moving average of $229.71. The company has a market cap of $11.03 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.44.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 29th. The company reported $2.06 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $851.50 million for the quarter. Acuity Brands’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.37 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Acuity Brands Inc. will post $8.01 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.21%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 14th.

In related news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 2,678 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $248.16, for a total transaction of $664,572.48. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 43,586 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,816,301.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Vernon J. Nagel sold 8,865 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $259.24, for a total value of $2,298,162.60. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 209,070 shares in the company, valued at approximately $54,199,306.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have made changes to their positions in the company. Stevens Capital Management LP acquired a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the fourth quarter worth $1,057,000. Comerica Bank raised its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 30,650 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,604,000 after buying an additional 247 shares in the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 16.1% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 4,315 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,009,000 after buying an additional 598 shares in the last quarter. Profund Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 65.1% in the fourth quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 6,212 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,452,000 after buying an additional 2,449 shares in the last quarter. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 8.5% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 6,490 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,517,000 after buying an additional 511 shares in the last quarter.

Acuity Brands, Inc (Acuity Brands), is the parent company of Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc (ABL), and other subsidiaries. Acuity Brands is a provider of lighting solutions for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure, and residential applications throughout North America and select international markets.

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