Shares of Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Friday after the company announced a dividend. Approximately 284,763 shares changed hands during trading, a decline of 9% from the previous session’s volume of 311,693 shares.The stock last traded at $264.12 and had previously closed at $260.41.
The newly announced dividend which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.20%. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 8.48%.
Several equities analysts have weighed in on AYI shares. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $295.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, September 16th. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $305.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, September 23rd. Roth Capital started coverage on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $275.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 7th. Finally, William Blair reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Monday, July 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $281.78.
The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $268.40 and its 200-day moving average price is $254.64. The firm has a market cap of $11.51 billion, a P/E ratio of 43.23 and a beta of 1.61.
Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 29th. The company reported $2.06 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.03 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $851.50 million for the quarter. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 8.57% and a return on equity of 20.66%. Acuity Brands’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.37 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Acuity Brands Inc. will post $8.01 EPS for the current year.
In other news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 2,654 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $250.27, for a total transaction of $664,216.58. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Vernon J. Nagel sold 65,060 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $268.30, for a total transaction of $17,455,598.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Acuity Brands during the second quarter worth approximately $153,000. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Acuity Brands during the second quarter worth approximately $163,000. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Acuity Brands during the second quarter worth approximately $174,000. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 250.0% in the second quarter. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd now owns 700 shares of the company’s stock worth $174,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 9.2% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 771 shares of the company’s stock worth $191,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the last quarter. 93.26% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Acuity Brands
Acuity Brands, Inc (Acuity Brands), is the parent company of Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc (ABL), and other subsidiaries. Acuity Brands is a provider of lighting solutions for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure, and residential applications throughout North America and select international markets.
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