Traders Buy High Volume of Acuity Brands Put Options (AYI)

Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Stock investors purchased 2,759 put options on the company. This is an increase of 1,337% compared to the average volume of 192 put options.

AYI has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Co lowered Acuity Brands from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $225.00 to $185.00 in a research note on Friday, September 15th. Robert W. Baird lowered Acuity Brands from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $212.00 to $178.00 in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. JMP Securities upgraded Acuity Brands from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $183.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, Roth Capital set a $130.00 price objective on Acuity Brands and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $196.23.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) opened at $159.85 on Friday. Acuity Brands has a 1 year low of $153.28 and a 1 year high of $225.36. The company has a market capitalization of $6,700.00, a P/E ratio of 21.96, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 1.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21, a quick ratio of 1.53 and a current ratio of 2.07.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Investors of record on Monday, January 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 19th. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.33%. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is 7.14%.

In other news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 7,441 shares of Acuity Brands stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.32, for a total value of $1,200,382.12. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 30,649 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,944,296.68. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AYI. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Acuity Brands by 12.8% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,260,836 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $866,145,000 after buying an additional 484,537 shares in the last quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD raised its position in Acuity Brands by 24.9% in the second quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD now owns 1,786,392 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $363,146,000 after purchasing an additional 356,199 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. raised its position in Acuity Brands by 68.1% in the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 779,190 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $133,460,000 after purchasing an additional 315,610 shares during the period. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C raised its position in Acuity Brands by 19.6% in the second quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 1,413,636 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $287,363,000 after purchasing an additional 231,406 shares during the period. Finally, Alyeska Investment Group L.P. raised its position in Acuity Brands by 34.3% in the third quarter. Alyeska Investment Group L.P. now owns 886,653 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $151,866,000 after purchasing an additional 226,605 shares during the period.

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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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