First Quadrant L P CA Holds Position in Acuity Brands Inc (AYI)

First Quadrant L P CA continued to hold its position in shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 10,400 shares of the electronics maker’s stock at the end of the second quarter. First Quadrant L P CA’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $2,114,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 2,916.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,776,299 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $770,366,000 after buying an additional 3,651,096 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 36.0% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,380,043 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $281,526,000 after buying an additional 365,466 shares in the last quarter. Villere ST Denis J & Co. LLC bought a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the first quarter valued at about $71,570,000. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the first quarter valued at about $65,928,000. Finally, NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. raised its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 81,594.7% in the first quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 245,084 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $49,996,000 after buying an additional 244,784 shares in the last quarter. 95.15% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) opened at 185.69 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $197.70 and its 200-day moving average is $192.77. Acuity Brands Inc has a 12-month low of $157.33 and a 12-month high of $280.89. The stock has a market cap of $8.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.90 and a beta of 1.41.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.12. The business had revenue of $891.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations 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 quarter in the prior year, the business earned $2.06 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.31 earnings per share for the current year.

Acuity Brands announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the electronics maker to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.28%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, July 14th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 7.24%.

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A number of research firms have weighed in on AYI. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on shares of 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 shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $237.00 price objective on the stock. Roth Capital reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $150.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Cowen and Company dropped their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $230.00 to $226.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $219.00.

In other news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total transaction of $1,114,108.83. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total transaction of $194,048.50. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,050. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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