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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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Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said Thursday after the markets closed that its first quarter loss narrowed from last year, helped by strong revenue growth in its graphics and visual solutions business. The company's quarterly earnings per share, excluding items, also came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly revenue. After trending higher over the past few sessions, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the trading day on Thursday. The major averages spent the session bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending the day mixed. While the major averages closed on opposite sides of the unchanged line, they all showed only modest moves. U.S. Secretary Of State John Kerry said Thursday that he and his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union have reached an agreement on a preliminary plan for ending the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Kerry was speaking at the end of the Ukraine contact group's first meeting, comprising the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the U.S., in the Swiss city of Geneva.
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