New Jersey Better Educational Savings Trust purchased a new position in shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm purchased 2,000 shares of the electronics maker’s stock, valued at approximately $407,000.

Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of AYI. Seven Bridges Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Acuity Brands during the second quarter worth $117,000. Van ECK Associates Corp increased 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 worth $125,000 after buying an additional 44 shares during the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC increased 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 worth $139,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC increased 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 worth $152,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. increased 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 worth $173,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

Acuity Brands Inc (AYI) opened at 185.08 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $7.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.82 and a beta of 1.41. Acuity Brands Inc has a 12-month low of $157.33 and a 12-month high of $280.89. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $197.44 and its 200 day moving average is $192.92.

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, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.03 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $891.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $878.66 million. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 19.89% and a net margin of 9.04%. 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 firm posted $2.06 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.28%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, July 14th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 7.24%.

Acuity Brands declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the electronics maker to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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

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

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

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