Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Acuity Brands has outperformed the industry in the past year. Its leading market position, diversified portfolio of innovative lighting control solutions and energy-efficient luminaries are substantial growth drivers. The company is expanding its geographic borders and product portfolio via acquisitions and joint ventures. The company has been undertaking certain actions that are offsetting higher input cost and the impact of tariffs. Notably, its overall growth rate and adjusted gross profit margin grew sequentially in the last reported quarter, given solid price increases and other cost-saving actions. However, shift in key customers, changes in sales channel mix and higher input costs are pressing concerns for the company. Earnings estimates for fiscal 2019 have remained stable over the past 60 days, limiting upside potential for the stock.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Acuity Brands from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and upped their price target for the company from $128.00 to $148.00 in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Oppenheimer cut their price target on shares of Acuity Brands from $170.00 to $166.00 in a report on Friday, January 11th. Wells Fargo & Co cut their price target on shares of Acuity Brands from $161.00 to $159.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Roth Capital set a $90.00 target price on shares of Acuity Brands and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Friday, January 4th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a sell rating to a neutral rating and set a $121.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, March 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $151.33.

AYI opened at $142.44 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.33, a P/E/G ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.54. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a quick ratio of 1.40 and a current ratio of 2.11. Acuity Brands has a 12-month low of $103.48 and a 12-month high of $173.01.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 3rd. The electronics maker reported $1.99 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.78 by $0.21. The firm had revenue of $854.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $877.82 million. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 8.63% and a return on equity of 20.46%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.89 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Acuity Brands will post 8.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 16th. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.37%. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is 6.33%.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. bought a new stake in Acuity Brands during the fourth quarter valued at $33,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Acuity Brands by 183.3% during the fourth quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 374 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $43,000 after purchasing an additional 242 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia increased its stake in Acuity Brands by 29.2% during the fourth quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 442 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $50,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Acuity Brands during the fourth quarter valued at $64,000. Finally, Rehmann Capital Advisory Group grew its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 141.4% during the fourth quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 618 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $71,000 after acquiring an additional 362 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.40% of the company’s stock.

About Acuity Brands

Acuity Brands, Inc provides lighting and building management solutions and services for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure, and residential applications in North America and internationally. The company offers lighting and control products and solutions, including recessed, surface, and suspended lighting; down, decorative, emergency and exit, track, day, special-use, street and roadway, parking garage, underwater, area pedestrian, flood, decorative site, and landscape lighting; occupancy sensors; photo controls; relay panels; architectural dimming panels; and integrated lighting controls systems.

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