Acuity Brands (AYI) Q4 Earnings Top Estimates, Margins Grow

Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI – Free Report) reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 adjusted earnings of $2.55 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.40 by about 6.3% and increasing 15.4% year over year on solid operating margin expansion.

Including non-recurring items, the company reported earnings of $2.15 per share, up 14% from $1.89 a year ago.

Full-year adjusted earnings came in at $8.45 versus $7.84 a year ago.

Acuity Brands Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Acuity Brands Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Acuity Brands Inc Quote


The quarter’s net sales of $957.6 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $972.5 million by 1.5%. The reported figure, however, increased 3.5% year over year.

The upside was mainly attributable to a 4.5% increase in volume, partly offset by a net unfavorable change in product prices and mix of products sold (price/mix) of approximately 1%. Sales volume improved across most key product categories and sales channels.

Full-year net sales of $3,505.1 million increased 6.5% from the fiscal 2016 level.

Operating Highlights

Adjusted gross profit margin was 42.5% in the fourth quarter, reflecting a decrease of 100 basis points (bps) year over year due to higher warranty expense and labor costs.

Adjusted operating margin was 18.4%, up 150 bps year over year.

Adjusted selling, distribution and administrative expenses were $230.6 million or 24.1% of quarterly net sales compared with $245.8 million or 26.6% a year ago. This was primarily due to lower incentive compensation expenses.


Cash and cash equivalents, as of Aug 31, 2017, were $311.1 million compared with $413.2 million in fiscal 2016.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $316.2 million in fiscal 2017, down 8.5% from $345.7 million a year ago.

Notably, Acuity Brands completed the buyback of 2 million shares during fiscal 2017 under its previously authorized stock repurchase program at a total cost of $357.9 million.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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