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Acuity Brands Profit Declines, Misses Estimate; Stock Down - Update

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4/4/2012 12:36 PM ET

Lighting solutions provider Acuity Brands Inc. (AYI: Quote), Wednesday reported a lower profit for the second quarter as one-time charges and higher taxes more than offset a 10 percent rise in sales.

Earnings for the quarter missed Street estimates by a wide margin, while sales topped expectations. Following the results, Acuity Brands shares lost almost seven percent in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Results for the quarter were hurt by a special charge of $6.6 million related to streamlining activities. Further, the effective tax rate for the quarter was higher at 35.4 percent compared to 31.4 percent in the prior year, reflecting absence of research credits.

Sales for the quarter rose 10 percent from last year, led by a 5 percent increase in unit volume, 3 percent from a favorable price mix, and 2 percent from acquisitions.

The growth in unit volume was broad-based across most product categories and key sales channels in North America.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based company reported second-quarter net income of $19.5 million or $0.46 per share, compared to $20 million or $0.45 per share last year.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $24 million or $0.57 per share.

On average, 12 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.62 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Sales for the quarter totaled $457.7 million, compared to $416 million last year. Analysts expected revenue of $455.42 million for the quarter.

Moving forward, the company continues to expect volatility in both customer demand and commodity costs, while exuding confidence over the long term.

AYI is currently trading at $59.23, down $4.42 or 6.94%, on a volume of 1.4 million shares.

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by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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Editors Pick
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand on Thursday raised its Official Cash Rate by 25 basis points, to 3.00 percent from 2.75 percent. The decision was in line with expectations, and it marks the second straight month with a rate hike following 24 straight meetings in which the rate was not changed. New Zealand's economic expansion has considerable momentum, with GDP estimated to have grown by 3.5 percent in the year to March. Apple Inc. said Wednesday after the markets closed that its second quarter profit rose 7% from last year, as sales surged and margins improved amid strong sales of its iPhones. The company's quarterly earnings per share also came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly revenue. At the same time, the company gave a slightly downbeat revenue forecast for the current quarter. Stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Wednesday, giving back some ground after trending higher over the past several sessions. Selling pressure was relatively subdued, however, limiting the downside for the markets. The major averages all closed in the red, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq underperformed its counterparts by a wide margin.
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