Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan cut its position in shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) by 53.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 1,410 shares of the electronics maker’s stock after selling 1,590 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan’s holdings in Acuity Brands were worth $287,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in AYI. Congress Asset Management Co. MA increased its stake in 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. Cue Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Acuity Brands by 3.0% in the second quarter. Cue Financial Group Inc. now owns 5,143 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $1,045,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. Villere ST Denis J & Co. LLC increased its stake in Acuity Brands by 4.9% in the second quarter. Villere ST Denis J & Co. LLC now owns 368,008 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $74,808,000 after buying an additional 17,170 shares during the last quarter. Northstar Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Acuity Brands during the second quarter worth $1,370,000. Finally, Forsta AP Fonden increased its stake in Acuity Brands by 96.8% in the second quarter. Forsta AP Fonden now owns 79,100 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $16,079,000 after buying an additional 38,900 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 95.15% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE:AYI) opened at 174.40 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.33 and a beta of 1.41. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $194.54 and its 200-day moving average price is $190.79. Acuity Brands Inc has a one year low of $157.33 and a one year high of $278.21.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last posted its quarterly earnings results 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 net margin of 9.04% and a return on equity of 19.89%. The business had revenue of $891.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $878.66 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $2.06 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Acuity Brands Inc will post $8.31 earnings per share for the current year.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 18th were issued a $0.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 14th. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.30%. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 7.24%.

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

In other news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 5,427 shares of the business’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 transaction 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 business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.05, for a total transaction of $194,048.50. Following the completion of 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. 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI)

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