Daiwa Securities Group Inc. held its position in Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,200 shares of the electronics maker’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc.’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $244,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D purchased a new position in Acuity Brands during the second quarter valued at $40,656,000. CIBC Asset Management Inc increased its position in Acuity Brands by 0.4% in the second quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 4,024 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $818,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS increased its position in Acuity Brands by 15.3% in the second quarter. Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS now owns 137,443 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $27,939,000 after buying an additional 18,267 shares during the last quarter. NGAM Advisors L.P. increased its position in Acuity Brands by 29.0% in the second quarter. NGAM Advisors L.P. now owns 46,649 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $9,483,000 after buying an additional 10,481 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. increased its position in Acuity Brands by 4.5% in the second quarter. Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. now owns 2,906 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $591,000 after buying an additional 124 shares during the last quarter. 95.15% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE AYI) opened at 181.15 on Friday. Acuity Brands Inc has a 12-month low of $157.33 and a 12-month high of $280.89. The firm has a market cap of $7.81 billion, a PE ratio of 25.27 and a beta of 1.41. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $198.40 and its 200 day moving average price is $192.02.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating 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 company had revenue of $891.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $878.66 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.06 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict 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 repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to buyback 2,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the electronics maker to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.29%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, July 14th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 7.24%.

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Several research firms recently weighed in on AYI. BidaskClub downgraded Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Wolfe Research began coverage on Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $237.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded 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 objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Robert W. Baird dropped their price objective 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. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. Acuity Brands has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $219.00.

In other Acuity Brands 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 transaction of $194,048.50. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,050. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 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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