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

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $158.00 target price on the electronics maker’s stock.

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. Earnings estimates for fiscal 2019 have remained stable over the past 60 days.”

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on AYI. ValuEngine raised Acuity Brands from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, April 4th. Wells Fargo & Co dropped their target price on Acuity Brands from $161.00 to $159.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Credit Suisse Group raised Acuity Brands from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and upped their target price for the stock from $128.00 to $148.00 in a research report on Wednesday, March 6th. Roth Capital set a $150.00 target price on Acuity Brands and gave the stock a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, December 20th. Finally, Robert W. Baird upped their target price on Acuity Brands from $150.00 to $160.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, April 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $151.33.

NYSE:AYI opened at $144.37 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $5.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.56, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 1.54. Acuity Brands has a 1-year low of $103.48 and a 1-year high of $173.01. The company has a current ratio of 2.11, a quick ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 3rd. The electronics maker reported $1.99 earnings per share 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 analyst estimates of $877.82 million. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 20.46% and a net margin of 8.63%. Acuity Brands’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.89 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Acuity Brands will post 8.84 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 17th will be given a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 16th. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is currently 6.33%.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Arizona State Retirement System increased its holdings in shares of Acuity Brands by 0.9% during the 4th quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 28,773 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $3,307,000 after acquiring an additional 243 shares during the last quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Acuity Brands by 2.9% during the 4th quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC now owns 8,231 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $946,000 after acquiring an additional 229 shares during the last quarter. Guinness Atkinson Asset Management Inc increased its holdings in shares of Acuity Brands by 9.5% during the 4th quarter. Guinness Atkinson Asset Management Inc now owns 2,300 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $264,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Acuity Brands by 238.2% during the 3rd quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC now owns 157,098 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $24,696,000 after acquiring an additional 110,644 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Acuity Brands during the 4th quarter valued at about $33,000. 93.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Acuity Brands Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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