Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) shares reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $277.50 and last traded at $277.12, with a volume of 40,334 shares. The stock had previously closed at $275.28.

Several research firms have issued reports on AYI. Credit Agricole SA reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $270.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Friday, July 1st. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $295.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Thursday, June 30th. William Blair restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $285.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, June 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. Acuity Brands has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $274.14.

The company has a 50-day moving average of $263.89 and a 200-day moving average of $240.07. The company has a market cap of $12.09 billion and a PE ratio of 45.41.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 18th were given a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.19%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 14th.

In related news, Director Ray M. Robinson sold 786 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $248.55, for a total transaction of $195,360.30. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $497,100. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Vernon J. Nagel sold 65,060 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $268.30, for a total value of $17,455,598.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 148.9% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 33,168 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,755,000 after buying an additional 19,843 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 112,844 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,383,000 after buying an additional 7,543 shares during the last quarter. US Bancorp DE boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 14.5% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 15,851 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,706,000 after buying an additional 2,010 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 24.9% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 8,494 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,986,000 after buying an additional 1,694 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 139,364 shares of the company’s stock worth $32,584,000 after buying an additional 895 shares during 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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