Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. reduced its stake in shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) by 39.8% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 1,474 shares of the electronics maker’s stock after selling 976 shares during the period. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc.’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $300,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of AYI. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 7.7% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 614 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 3.8% in the first quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 680 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 204.1% in the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 745 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 3.3% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 846 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $173,000 after buying an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc boosted its stake in Acuity Brands by 2.8% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 964 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $197,000 after buying an additional 26 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) opened at 196.52 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $8.47 billion, a PE ratio of 27.41 and a beta of 1.41. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $195.51 and a 200 day moving average price of $193.34. Acuity Brands Inc has a 12 month low of $157.33 and a 12 month high of $280.89.

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

Acuity Brands declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to repurchase 2,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the electronics maker to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were issued a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.26%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, July 14th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 7.24%.

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Several research firms recently commented on AYI. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $206.00 target price (down from $210.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Deutsche Bank AG raised their target price on Acuity Brands from $215.00 to $245.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. BidaskClub upgraded Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 1st. Finally, Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $215.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $219.00.

In other news, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total value of $194,048.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,050. 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 5,427 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total transaction of $1,114,108.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.

About Acuity Brands

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.

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

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