Media stories about Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) have trended somewhat positive this week, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. The research group identifies negative and positive press coverage by monitoring more than 20 million news and blog sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Acuity Brands earned a coverage optimism score of 0.18 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave press coverage about the electronics maker an impact score of 46.3554692319674 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the next several days.

These are some of the news stories that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s scoring:

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) traded up 0.33% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $185.69. 376,085 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $197.70 and a 200-day moving average price of $192.77. The company has a market cap of $8.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.90 and a beta of 1.41. Acuity Brands has a 12-month low of $157.33 and a 12-month high of $280.89.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $891.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $878.66 million. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 19.89% and a net margin of 9.04%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $2.06 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Acuity Brands will post $8.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were issued a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 14th. Acuity Brands’s payout ratio is presently 7.24%.

Acuity Brands declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to repurchase 2,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the electronics maker to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on AYI. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $201.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, June 30th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reduced their price target on shares of Acuity Brands from $265.00 to $215.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Roth Capital set a $150.00 price target on shares of Acuity Brands and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $219.00.

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In related news, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total value of $194,048.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $200,050. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total value of $1,114,108.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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