Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Acuity Brands Inc (AYI) to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Thursday morning. The brokerage currently has $201.00 target price on the electronics maker’s stock.

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 brokerages have also weighed in on AYI. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an outperform rating and issued a $215.00 price objective (down from $265.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Thursday, April 6th. Wells Fargo & Co restated an outperform rating and issued a $200.00 price objective (up from $196.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Canaccord Genuity decreased their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $240.00 to $209.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. Roth Capital set a $150.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands and gave the stock a sell rating in a report on Thursday, April 6th. Finally, JMP Securities restated an underperform rating and issued a $155.00 price objective (down from $185.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Thursday, April 6th. Two equities research 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’s stock. Acuity Brands has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $221.60.

Analyst Recommendations for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

Shares of Acuity Brands (AYI) opened at 176.11 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $175.02 and a 200 day moving average price of $201.10. Acuity Brands has a 52 week low of $157.33 and a 52 week high of $280.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.31 and a beta of 1.37.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 4th. The electronics maker reported $1.77 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.83 by $0.06. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 19.62% and a net margin of 8.91%. The firm had revenue of $804.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $827.22 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.80 earnings per share. Acuity Brands’s revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Acuity Brands will post $8.03 EPS for the current year.

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Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of AYI. First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,028 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $468,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the last quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 0.9% in the first quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 1,098 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $224,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 0.6% in the first quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 2,463 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $502,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 2,527 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $583,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital Analysts LLC increased its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 3.8% in the first quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 680 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. 95.15% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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