Acuity Brands Inc (AYI) Downgraded by Wells Fargo & Company to “Market Perform”

Wells Fargo & Company cut shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report released on Friday morning. Wells Fargo & Company currently has $185.00 price target on the electronics maker’s stock, down from their prior price target of $225.00.

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price 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 started coverage on Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. They issued an outperform rating and a $237.00 target price on the stock. Roth Capital restated a sell rating and issued a $150.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Cowen and Company lowered their target price on Acuity Brands from $230.00 to $226.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Acuity Brands from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $196.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $218.00.

Acuity Brands (NYSE AYI) traded down 4.21% during trading on Friday, hitting $170.50. The stock had a trading volume of 1,657,606 shares. The firm has a market cap of $7.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.78 and a beta of 1.42. Acuity Brands has a 1-year low of $157.33 and a 1-year high of $267.08. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $184.25 and its 200 day moving average is $186.96.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.03 by $0.12. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 19.89% and a net margin of 9.04%. The firm had revenue of $891.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $878.66 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.06 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Acuity Brands will post $8.33 earnings per share for the current year.

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Acuity Brands declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the electronics maker to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total transaction of $194,048.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,050. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AYI. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC lifted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 23.7% during the 1st quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 1,330 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $271,000 after purchasing an additional 255 shares during the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lifted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 22,381.8% during the 1st quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 2,473 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $504,000 after purchasing an additional 2,462 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 9.1% during the 1st quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 1,200 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $245,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank lifted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 43.0% during the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 19,181 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $3,393,000 after purchasing an additional 5,767 shares during the last quarter. Finally, World Asset Management Inc lifted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 20.7% during the 1st quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 4,738 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $967,000 after purchasing an additional 811 shares during the last quarter.

Acuity Brands Company Profile

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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