Advisor Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor acquired 1,079 shares of the electronics maker’s stock, valued at approximately $219,000.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its position 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 during the period. Capital Analysts LLC boosted its position 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 during the period. Global X Management Co. LLC boosted its position 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 during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its position 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 during the period. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc boosted its position 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 during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

Acuity Brands Inc (AYI) opened at 185.69 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $8.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.90 and a beta of 1.41. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $197.70 and a 200 day moving average of $192.77. Acuity Brands Inc has a one year low of $157.33 and a one year high of $280.89.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors 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 yield of 0.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 14th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio is presently 7.24%.

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

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Several research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $206.00 price objective (down previously from $210.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $215.00 to $245.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $215.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $219.00.

In related news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of Acuity Brands 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 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 Acuity Brands 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 transaction, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,050. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is owned by company 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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