Why Acuity Brands (AYI) Hit an All-Time High Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Acuity Brands Inc.  (AYI) soared 24% to an all-time high of $136.46 on Thursday after the company announced its strong results in its first quarter of fiscal 2014.

The Atlanta-based electronics manufacturer, which makes Lithonia Lighting, Holophane and Gotham brand products, reported that revenue rose approximately 20% year-over-year to $574.7 million, which was well above consensus, on higher volume of units sold. Earnings per share also jumped 39% to 96 cents, well above estimates of 84 cents. The company also noted in its report that the year-over-year growth in the first quarter was due "primarily to an increase in volume, partially offset by an estimated 1 percentage point net unfavorable change in product prices and mix of products sold." 

Acuity also closed two small production facilities in the first quarter in keeping with the restructuring it began in 2013 to cut costs, and the company estimated that it saved $3 million pre-tax thanks to the streamlining maneuvers. 

Acuity CEO Vernon Nigel said in the statement that the company's outlook remains positive.

"Third-party forecasts and leading indicators continue to suggest that the growth rate for the North American lighting market, which includes renovation and retrofit activity, will continue to be in the mid-single digit range during 2014."

As of 2:10 p.m. EST, Acuity was rising 15.36% to $126.93.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Acuity as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ACUITY BRANDS INC (AYI) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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