Acuity Brands (AYI) Downgraded by Vertical Research to Hold

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) was downgraded by research analysts at Vertical Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday, The Fly reports.

AYI has been the topic of several other research reports. Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating and set a $198.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Acuity Brands from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. Seaport Global Securities restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Thursday, January 11th. Wells Fargo restated a “market perform” rating and set a $175.00 price target (down previously from $185.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Williams Capital lowered Acuity Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $204.00 to $175.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Acuity Brands presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $177.82.

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Shares of NYSE AYI traded up $0.19 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $130.86. 163,724 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 837,806. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a current ratio of 2.15. The company has a market capitalization of $5,514.30, a P/E ratio of 16.38, a P/E/G ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 1.33. Acuity Brands has a one year low of $119.02 and a one year high of $208.82.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 4th. The electronics maker reported $1.89 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.95 by ($0.06). The firm had revenue of $832.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $799.33 million. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 9.68% and a return on equity of 20.56%. The firm’s revenue was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.77 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Acuity Brands will post 7.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Acuity Brands announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Wednesday, April 4th that allows the company to repurchase 6,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the electronics maker to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. purchased a new stake in Acuity Brands in the fourth quarter worth $151,000. Shelton Capital Management purchased a new stake in Acuity Brands in the fourth quarter worth $201,000. Montag & Caldwell LLC purchased a new stake in Acuity Brands in the fourth quarter worth $212,000. Amica Retiree Medical Trust purchased a new stake in Acuity Brands in the fourth quarter worth $218,000. Finally, Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in Acuity Brands in the fourth quarter worth $219,000.

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Acuity Brands Company Profile

Acuity Brands, Inc provides lighting and building management solutions and services for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure, and residential applications in North America and internationally. The company offers lighting and controls products and solutions, such as recessed, surface, and suspended lighting; down, decorative, emergency and exit, track, day, special-use, street and roadway, parking garage, landscape, and underwater lighting; area pedestrian, flood, and decorative site lighting; occupancy sensors; photo controls; relay panels; architectural dimming panels; and integrated lighting controls systems.

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