Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) gapped up prior to trading on Tuesday . The stock had previously closed at $277.13, but opened at $277.54. Acuity Brands shares last traded at $279.53, with a volume of 64,212 shares changing hands.

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

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $266.76 and a 200 day moving average price of $242.84. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.14 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 45.61.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last released 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. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.37 EPS. The firm had revenue of $851.50 million for the quarter. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 24.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Acuity Brands Inc. will post $8.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

In other news, CEO Vernon J. Nagel sold 65,060 shares of Acuity Brands 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 sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Mark A. Black sold 2,654 shares of Acuity Brands stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $250.27, for a total transaction of $664,216.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A hedge fund recently raised its stake in Acuity Brands stock. Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its position in Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) by 24.9% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 8,494 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,694 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $1,986,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

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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