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

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

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $265.63 and a 200-day moving average of $240.90. The company has a market cap of $12.07 billion and a P/E ratio of 45.35.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, June 29th. The company reported $2.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.03. The company earned $851.50 million during the quarter. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.37 EPS. Analysts forecast that Acuity Brands Inc. will post $8.01 earnings per share for the current year.

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

In related news, Director Ray M. Robinson sold 786 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $248.55, for a total transaction of $195,360.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at $497,100. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Richard K. Reece sold 33,430 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $269.07, for a total transaction of $8,995,010.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have made changes to their positions in the company. 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 valued at $7,755,000 after buying an additional 19,843 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 valued at $1,986,000 after buying an additional 1,694 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 7.9% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 5,456 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,276,000 after buying an additional 400 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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