Acuity Brands (AYI) Upgraded to “Outperform” by JMP Securities

JMP Securities upgraded shares of Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report released on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. They currently have $150.00 price objective on the electronics maker’s stock.

Several other research firms have also issued reports on AYI. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Acuity Brands from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Williams Capital lowered shares of Acuity Brands from a buy rating to a hold rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $204.00 to $175.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $198.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Seaport Global Securities reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Finally, Wells Fargo reaffirmed a market perform rating and set a $175.00 price target (down from $185.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $178.08.

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NYSE AYI opened at $131.83 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a quick ratio of 1.65 and a current ratio of 2.15. Acuity Brands has a 1 year low of $119.02 and a 1 year high of $208.82. The firm has a market cap of $5,557.69, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.56, a PEG ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 1.33.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 9th. The electronics maker reported $1.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.97 by ($0.16). Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 20.56% and a net margin of 9.68%. The firm had revenue of $842.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $883.97 million. equities research analysts anticipate that Acuity Brands will post 8.72 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 17th will be given a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.39%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, April 16th. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is presently 6.53%.

Acuity Brands declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, April 4th that authorizes the company to repurchase 6,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the electronics maker to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AYI. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. bought a new position in shares of Acuity Brands in the fourth quarter valued at about $151,000. Shelton Capital Management bought a new position in shares of Acuity Brands in the fourth quarter valued at about $201,000. Montag & Caldwell LLC bought a new position in shares of Acuity Brands in the fourth quarter valued at about $212,000. Amica Retiree Medical Trust bought a new position in shares of Acuity Brands in the fourth quarter valued at about $218,000. Finally, Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new position in shares of Acuity Brands in the fourth quarter valued at about $219,000.

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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 controls products and solutions, such as recessed, surface, and suspended lighting; down, decorative, emergency and exit, track, day, special-use, street and roadway, parking garage, landscape, and underwater lighting; area pedestrian, flood, and decorative site lighting; occupancy sensors; photo controls; relay panels; architectural dimming panels; and integrated lighting controls systems.

Analyst Recommendations for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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