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

Lighting solutions provider Acuity Brands Inc. (AYI), 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.

by RTT Staff Writer

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