Wolfe Research lowered shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report released on Monday morning.

Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on AYI. JMP Securities raised Acuity Brands from an underperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $183.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Seaport Global Securities reissued a buy rating and set a $200.00 target price (down previously from $225.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Friday. Roth Capital set a $130.00 target price on Acuity Brands and gave the stock a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. BidaskClub raised Acuity Brands from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, July 1st. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a buy rating and set a $215.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $198.42.

Acuity Brands (AYI) opened at 171.15 on Monday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $173.12 and its 200 day moving average is $182.04. The firm has a market cap of $7.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.03 and a beta of 1.43. Acuity Brands has a 12-month low of $153.28 and a 12-month high of $261.43.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 4th. The electronics maker reported $2.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.30 by $0.25. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 20.47% and a net margin of 9.18%. The business had revenue of $957.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $975.05 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.21 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Acuity Brands will post $9.14 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 18th will be given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.30%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 17th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 6.99%.

Acuity Brands declared that its board has approved a stock 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 buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Acuity Brands news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of Acuity Brands 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 sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AYI. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 661.1% in the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 548 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $111,000 after purchasing an additional 476 shares during the last quarter. Seven Bridges Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Acuity Brands in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $117,000. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC grew its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 11.0% in the 2nd quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 586 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $119,000 after purchasing an additional 58 shares during the last quarter. QS Investors LLC grew its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 588 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp grew its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 7.7% in the 1st quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 614 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $125,000 after purchasing an additional 44 shares during the last quarter.

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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