Acuity Brands Inc (AYI) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Acuity Brands is focused on capitalizing growth opportunities by continuously expanding and leveraging its lighting and building management solutions. Also, the company’s extensive market presence and financial strength are major positives. The company expects the North American lighting market to return to growth in fiscal 2018. It also expects to continue to outperform growth rates in markets that it serves by executing strategies focused on opportunities for new construction and renovation projects and expansion into underpenetrated geographies and channels. However, increased economic volatility, higher costs, and reliance on one client might weigh on the stock.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on AYI. Deutsche Bank AG dropped their target price on shares of Acuity Brands from $280.00 to $275.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 14th. Roth Capital reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $150.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, March 31st. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Tuesday, March 28th. Robert W. Baird reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $206.00 price objective (down previously from $210.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Monday. Finally, Guggenheim assumed coverage on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Tuesday, April 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $181.00 price objective for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $221.27.

Analyst Recommendations for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) opened at 176.76 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $175.02 and a 200-day moving average of $201.10. The company has a market capitalization of $7.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.40 and a beta of 1.37. Acuity Brands has a 52 week low of $157.33 and a 52 week high of $280.89.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, April 4th. The electronics maker reported $1.77 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.83 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $804.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $827.22 million. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 19.62% and a net margin of 8.91%. The firm’s revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.80 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Acuity Brands will post $8.03 earnings per share for the current year.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AYI. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC raised its position in Acuity Brands by 58.1% in the first quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 558 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 205 shares during the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its position in Acuity Brands by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 570 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 42 shares during the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC raised its position in Acuity Brands by 3.8% in the first quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 680 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC raised its position in Acuity Brands by 204.1% in the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 745 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, WFG Advisors LP raised its position in Acuity Brands by 2,896.3% in the fourth quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 809 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 782 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

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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