Homrich & Berg cut its stake in Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) by 1.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 3,040 shares of the electronics maker’s stock after selling 50 shares during the period. Homrich & Berg’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $618,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Capital Analysts LLC increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 42.6% in the second quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 970 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $197,000 after buying an additional 290 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 7.3% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 908 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $185,000 after buying an additional 62 shares during the period. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 19.2% in the second quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 11,249 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $2,287,000 after buying an additional 1,813 shares during the period. Andra AP fonden increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 266.7% in the second quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 8,800 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $1,789,000 after buying an additional 6,400 shares during the period. Finally, Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors LLP MA increased its position in shares of Acuity Brands by 8.9% in the second quarter. Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors LLP MA now owns 55,072 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $11,160,000 after buying an additional 4,524 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE AYI) opened at 173.99 on Wednesday. Acuity Brands Inc has a one year low of $157.33 and a one year high of $278.21. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $194.54 and its 200-day moving average is $190.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.50 billion, a PE ratio of 24.27 and a beta of 1.41.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The electronics maker reported $2.15 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 the consensus estimate of $878.66 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.06 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Acuity Brands announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the electronics maker to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors 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 0.30%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, July 14th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio is presently 7.24%.

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AYI has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $215.00 to $245.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $237.00 price objective on the stock. Roth Capital restated a “sell” rating and set a $150.00 price objective on shares of Acuity Brands in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Cowen and Company lowered their price objective on shares of Acuity Brands from $230.00 to $226.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $219.00.

In related 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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Peter C. Browning sold 970 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total value of $194,048.50. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $200,050. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

About Acuity Brands

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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