Cigna Investments Inc. New reduced its position in Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) by 7.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 1,708 shares of the electronics maker’s stock after selling 135 shares during the period. Cigna Investments Inc. New’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $347,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Creative Planning boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 2.1% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 3,186 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $650,000 after buying an additional 66 shares in the last quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd raised its position in Acuity Brands by 1.9% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 13,225 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $2,697,000 after buying an additional 245 shares during the last quarter. Nippon Life Insurance Co. raised its position in Acuity Brands by 134.5% in the first quarter. Nippon Life Insurance Co. now owns 5,402 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $1,102,000 after buying an additional 3,098 shares during the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. raised its position in Acuity Brands by 34.7% in the first quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 3,278 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $669,000 after buying an additional 844 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. raised its position in Acuity Brands by 6.3% in the first quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 1,176 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $224,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. 95.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE AYI) opened at 178.33 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $7.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.88 and a beta of 1.41. Acuity Brands Inc has a 52 week low of $157.33 and a 52 week high of $280.89. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $197.82 and its 200 day moving average price is $191.84.
Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $891.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $878.66 million. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 9.04% and a return on equity of 19.89%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.06 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.31 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were given a dividend of $0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, July 14th. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.29%. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 7.24%.
Acuity Brands announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the electronics maker to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
A number of equities analysts have recently commented on AYI shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered Acuity Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $200.00 price objective (up from $196.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Wolfe Research started coverage on Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $237.00 price objective on the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. dropped their price objective on Acuity Brands from $265.00 to $215.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock 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 on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $219.00.
In other Acuity Brands news, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $200,050. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 14th. The stock was 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. Company insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.
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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