Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) shares 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.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Wednesday, June 29th. Credit Agricole SA reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $270.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, July 1st. Zacks Investment Research lowered Acuity Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 15th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $295.00 target price (up previously from $245.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Thursday, April 7th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. Acuity Brands currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $274.14.

The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $251.72 and a 200 day moving average price of $229.94. The firm has a market cap of $11.51 billion and a PE ratio of 43.23.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 29th. The company reported $2.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.03 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $851.50 million for the quarter. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 24.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.37 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Acuity Brands Inc. will post $8.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 1st. Shareholders 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 0.20%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 14th.

In other Acuity Brands news, CEO Vernon J. Nagel sold 8,865 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $259.24, for a total transaction of $2,298,162.60. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 209,070 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $54,199,306.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Vernon J. Nagel sold 47,995 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $256.18, for a total value of $12,295,359.10. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 228,200 shares in the company, valued at approximately $58,460,276. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its position in Acuity Brands by 18.9% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 775,171 shares of the company’s stock worth $181,235,000 after buying an additional 123,187 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP increased its position in Acuity Brands by 4,820.0% in the fourth quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 80,048 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,715,000 after buying an additional 78,421 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in Acuity Brands by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 146,486 shares of the company’s stock worth $34,250,000 after buying an additional 2,699 shares in the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC increased its position in 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. Finally, Ecofin Ltd. purchased a new position in Acuity Brands during the fourth quarter worth approximately $18,618,000.

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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