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What: Shares of lighting solutions company Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI ) are shining bright, up 11% today, following the company's first-quarter earnings results.
So what: Acuity, which hasn't exactly been lighting up analyst estimates lately (it missed in three of its past four quarters), easily galloped past Wall Street's expectations. For the quarter, Acuity earned $0.74 on $474.3 million in sales. This compares to the Street's consensus forecast of $0.67 on $463.5 million in sales. Acuity cited its ability to raise prices during the quarter to offset rising expenses as the reason for the strong results.
Now what: This is indeed a solid quarter for Acuity, but hardly what I would call a reason to rush out and buy the stock. Acuity CEO Vernon Nagel cautioned investors that "we anticipate ongoing volatility in both customer demand and commodity costs," and warned that its second-quarter results could be affected by inventory rebalancing from its customers. The company also took a $2.7 million charge this quarter related to severance packages and alluded that more layoffs may be necessary throughout the year. Even with Acuity reconfirming growth in the low-to-mid single digits, there are enough questionable figures here and in its recent earnings history for me to pass on the stock -- especially after today's run-up.
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