Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

Several other analysts have also commented on AYI. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $237.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Acuity Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Roth Capital restated a “sell” rating and set a $150.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Robert W. Baird dropped their price target on shares of Acuity Brands from $242.00 to $200.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. dropped their price target on shares of Acuity Brands from $265.00 to $215.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $219.00.

Shares of Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) traded up 0.45% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $185.92. 114,619 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $197.44 and its 200-day moving average is $192.92. The stock has a market cap of $8.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.93 and a beta of 1.41. Acuity Brands has a 12 month low of $157.33 and a 12 month high of $280.89.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $891.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $878.66 million. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 9.04% and a return on equity of 19.89%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $2.06 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Acuity Brands will post $8.31 earnings per share for the current year.

Acuity Brands declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to buyback 2,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the electronics maker to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Acuity Brands news, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of Acuity Brands stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total transaction of $194,048.50. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $200,050. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of Acuity Brands stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 14th. The stock was 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.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in AYI. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 104,821 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $24,198,000 after buying an additional 728 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 91.4% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 58,500 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $13,505,000 after buying an additional 27,929 shares in the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 2.7% in the first quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 38,023 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $7,757,000 after buying an additional 996 shares in the last quarter. Creative Planning boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 2.1% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 3,186 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $650,000 after buying an additional 66 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gulf International Bank UK Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 1.9% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 13,225 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $2,697,000 after buying an additional 245 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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