New Mexico Educational Retirement Board decreased its position in shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) by 6.7% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 4,200 shares of the electronics maker’s stock after selling 300 shares during the period. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $851,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in AYI. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 3.5% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,182,010 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $853,130,000 after buying an additional 141,804 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 2,916.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,776,299 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $770,366,000 after buying an additional 3,651,096 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 5.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,024,076 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $412,907,000 after buying an additional 100,424 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 36.0% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,380,043 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $281,526,000 after buying an additional 365,466 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Congress Asset Management Co. MA boosted its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 13.5% in the second quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA now owns 529,335 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $107,603,000 after buying an additional 62,948 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) opened at 182.14 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $7.85 billion, a PE ratio of 25.41 and a beta of 1.41. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $198.13 and a 200 day moving average price of $192.17. Acuity Brands Inc has a 1-year low of $157.33 and a 1-year high of $280.89.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.12. Acuity Brands had a return on equity of 19.89% and a net margin of 9.04%. The firm had revenue of $891.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $878.66 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $2.06 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Acuity Brands announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the electronics maker to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 14th. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.29%. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio is presently 7.24%.

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AYI has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Acuity Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $200.00 price objective (up previously from $196.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Wolfe Research initiated coverage on Acuity Brands in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $237.00 price objective for the company. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. lowered their price objective on Acuity Brands from $265.00 to $215.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Robert W. Baird lowered their price objective on Acuity Brands from $242.00 to $200.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $219.00.

In other news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $205.29, for a total transaction of $1,114,108.83. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total value of $194,048.50. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,050. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.40% 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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