Acuity Brands stock rallies after profit, sales fall less than expected

Shares of Acuity Brands Inc. advanced 1.2% in premarket trading Thursday, after the building management and lighting company reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit and sales that beat expectations.

Net income for the quarter to Aug. 31 slipped to $73.7 million or $1.87 a share, from $96.1 million, or $2.42 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share fell 14.5% to $2.35, but was above the FactSet consensus of $2.03.

Sales fell 5.0% to $891.2 million, but beat the FactSet consensus of $825.9 million. The company

said volume decreased 4%, due primarily to the negative impact on demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a unfavorable change of about 4% in product prices and mix of products sold.

” We believe the uncertainty around the economic recovery due to the COVID-19 pandemic remains and, as a result, we expect weakness in nonresidential building activity based on current construction indicators ,” said Chief Executive Neil Ashe.

The stock has dropped 17.9% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500

has gained 5.8%.

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