Acuity Brands Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (NYSE:AYI)

Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) saw some unusual options trading on Monday. Stock investors purchased 918 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,312% compared to the typical daily volume of 65 put options.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Investec Asset Management LTD raised its position in Acuity Brands by 2,666.8% during the second quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 648,507 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $2,556,000 after buying an additional 625,068 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in Acuity Brands by 82.7% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 624,600 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $86,139,000 after purchasing an additional 282,700 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Acuity Brands by 512.7% in the 2nd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 299,290 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $40,844,000 after buying an additional 250,443 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its stake in Acuity Brands by 72.0% in the 2nd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 196,778 shares of the electronics maker’s stock valued at $23,830,000 after buying an additional 82,385 shares during the period. Finally, Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Acuity Brands in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $10,308,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.11% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on AYI. Robert W. Baird lowered Acuity Brands from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $148.00 to $126.00 in a report on Wednesday, October 16th. William Blair reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Acuity Brands in a report on Tuesday, September 24th. Oppenheimer cut shares of Acuity Brands from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Acuity Brands from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, November 29th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Acuity Brands from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $134.44.

NYSE AYI opened at $133.01 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 2.42, a quick ratio of 1.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.18. Acuity Brands has a 1 year low of $103.48 and a 1 year high of $147.44. The company has a market cap of $5.30 billion, a PE ratio of 14.78, a PEG ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 1.53. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $128.42 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $129.54.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 2nd. The electronics maker reported $2.75 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.63 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $938.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.03 billion. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 9.00% and a return on equity of 19.50%. During the same period last year, the company posted $2.68 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.6% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts forecast that Acuity Brands will post 9.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Acuity Brands Company Profile

Acuity Brands, Inc provides lighting and building management solutions and services for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure, and residential applications in North America and internationally. The company offers lighting and control products and solutions, including recessed, surface, and suspended lighting; down, decorative, emergency and exit, track, day, special-use, street and roadway, parking garage, underwater, area pedestrian, flood, decorative site, and landscape lighting; occupancy sensors; photo controls; relay panels; architectural dimming panels; and integrated lighting controls systems.

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