Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) shares dropped 2.8% on Wednesday . The company traded as low as $153.28 and last traded at $162.09. Approximately 385,397 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 27% from the average daily volume of 530,602 shares. The stock had previously closed at $157.66.

AYI has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on Acuity Brands from $215.00 to $245.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Wolfe Research began coverage on Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $237.00 price target on the stock. Roth Capital reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Cowen and Company dropped their price target on Acuity Brands from $230.00 to $226.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $216.53.

The stock has a market cap of $6.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.40 and a beta of 1.42. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $181.93 and a 200 day moving average of $185.88.

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 the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $891.60 million for 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 firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.06 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Acuity Brands declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to buyback 2,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the electronics maker to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $200,050. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total value of $1,114,108.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AYI. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 661.1% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 548 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 476 shares during the period. Seven Bridges Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the second quarter worth approximately $117,000. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 11.0% during the second quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 586 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $119,000 after purchasing an additional 58 shares during the period. QS Investors LLC increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 1.2% during the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 588 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $120,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares during the period. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 7.7% during the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 614 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $125,000 after purchasing an additional 44 shares during the period.

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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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