Northstar Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor purchased 6,740 shares of the electronics maker’s stock, valued at approximately $1,370,000.

Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Forsta AP Fonden boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 96.8% in the second quarter. Forsta AP Fonden now owns 79,100 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $16,079,000 after buying an additional 38,900 shares during the period. Private Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 31.7% in the second quarter. Private Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,700 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $549,000 after buying an additional 650 shares during the period. BB&T Corp boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 11.4% in the second quarter. BB&T Corp now owns 1,745 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $355,000 after buying an additional 178 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 47.4% in the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 10,607 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $2,156,000 after buying an additional 3,411 shares during the period. Finally, Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 320.7% in the second quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management now owns 17,644 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $3,587,000 after buying an additional 13,450 shares during the period. 95.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Acuity Brands Inc (AYI) traded up 0.53% during trading on Monday, reaching $206.34. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 136,905 shares. Acuity Brands Inc has a 12 month low of $157.33 and a 12 month high of $280.89. The stock has a market cap of $8.89 billion, a PE ratio of 28.78 and a beta of 1.42. The company’s 50-day moving average is $186.57 and its 200-day moving average is $194.46.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.12. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 19.89% and a net margin of 9.04%. The business had revenue of $891.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $878.66 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $2.06 earnings per share. Acuity Brands’s revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Acuity Brands announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the electronics maker to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, July 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, July 14th. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.25%. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 7.24%.

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A number of analysts have recently commented on the company. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $237.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Acuity Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Roth Capital reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Robert W. Baird lowered their price target on Acuity Brands from $242.00 to $200.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. lowered their price target on Acuity Brands from $265.00 to $215.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $219.00.

In related news, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total transaction of $194,048.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $200,050. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total value of $1,114,108.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

Acuity Brands Company Profile

Acuity Brands, Inc is a provider of lighting solutions for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure and residential applications throughout North America and other international markets. The Company operates through North American segment. The Company offers a portfolio of indoor and outdoor lighting and building management solutions for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure and residential applications.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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