Acuity Brands Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (AYI)

Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Investors acquired 2,759 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,337% compared to the average volume of 192 put options.

Shares of Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) opened at $158.74 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21, a current ratio of 2.23 and a quick ratio of 1.53. The firm has a market capitalization of $6,739.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 1.44. Acuity Brands has a twelve month low of $153.28 and a twelve month high of $225.36.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, January 22nd will be issued a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.33%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 19th. Acuity Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 7.14%.

In related news, EVP Mark A. Black sold 7,441 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.32, for a total transaction of $1,200,382.12. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 30,649 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,944,296.68. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AYI. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 12.8% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,260,836 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $866,145,000 after acquiring an additional 484,537 shares during the last quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 24.9% during the second quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD now owns 1,786,392 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $363,146,000 after acquiring an additional 356,199 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 68.1% during the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 779,190 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $133,460,000 after acquiring an additional 315,610 shares during the last quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 19.6% during the second quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 1,413,636 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $287,363,000 after acquiring an additional 231,406 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alyeska Investment Group L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Acuity Brands by 34.3% during the third quarter. Alyeska Investment Group L.P. now owns 886,653 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $151,866,000 after acquiring an additional 226,605 shares during the last quarter.

Several analysts have weighed in on the company. Robert W. Baird lowered Acuity Brands from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $212.00 to $178.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Acuity Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. JMP Securities raised Acuity Brands from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $183.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Roth Capital set a $130.00 target price on Acuity Brands and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $200.00 target price (down previously from $225.00) on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Friday, October 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Acuity Brands has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $196.23.

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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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