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Why Acuity Shares Got Crushed

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of lighting expert Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI  ) were dimming noticeably today, as they dropped as much as 11% in intraday trading after the company reported second-quarter results.

So what: The investor reaction to Acuity's numbers was largely a matter of costs. For the quarter, the light specialist showed revenue that was up 10% from the prior year and was ahead of Wall Street analysts' estimates. However, costs rose as well, with cost of goods rising 9%, while operating costs climbed 8%. Excluding one-time items, Acuity notched $0.57 in earnings per share, easily short of analysts' average estimate of $0.62.

Now what: Acuity is still in the process of recovering from the 2008/2009 recession, when both revenue and profits dipped badly. While the company has made considerable progress -- trailing-12-month earnings are up nearly 40% from fiscal 2010 -- investors obviously are realigning their expectations after a softer-than-expected quarter.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has nofinancial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool, or on Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.

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Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:03 PM
AYI $239.83 Down -2.32 -0.96%
Acuity Brands CAPS Rating: ***