Principal Financial Group Inc. lessened its holdings in Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) by 3.6% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 65,568 shares of the electronics maker’s stock after selling 2,435 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned approximately 0.15% of Acuity Brands worth $13,329,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of AYI. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC raised its holdings in Acuity Brands by 23.7% in the 1st quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 1,330 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $271,000 after buying an additional 255 shares during the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its holdings in Acuity Brands by 22,381.8% in the 1st quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 2,473 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $504,000 after buying an additional 2,462 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its holdings in Acuity Brands by 43.0% in the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 19,181 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $3,393,000 after buying an additional 5,767 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its holdings in Acuity Brands by 10.7% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 116,044 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $23,673,000 after buying an additional 11,223 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new position in Acuity Brands in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $1,468,000.
In related news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the company’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 sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the company’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 value of $194,048.50. Following the transaction, the director now 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 owned by corporate insiders.
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Shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) opened at 160.60 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $6.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.40 and a beta of 1.42. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $181.93 and its 200 day moving average is $185.88. Acuity Brands Inc has a 12 month low of $153.28 and a 12 month high of $267.08.
Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last announced 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. The company had revenue of $891.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $878.66 million. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 19.89% and a net margin of 9.04%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.06 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.32 EPS for the current year.
Acuity Brands declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase 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. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
AYI has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Robert W. Baird downgraded shares of Acuity Brands from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $212.00 to $178.00 in a research report on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday. BidaskClub raised shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 1st. Wells Fargo & Company downgraded shares of Acuity Brands from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $225.00 to $185.00 in a research report on Friday, September 15th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $216.53.
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.
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