Acuity Brands' Q4 Earnings, Revenues Beat Estimates

Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 results, wherein earnings and revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Earnings surpassed the consensus mark for the second straight quarter, while revenues beat the same for the third successive quarter.

Adjusted earnings of $2.68 per share surpassed the consensus estimate of $2.63 by 1.9%. Also, earnings increased 5% on a year-over-year basis. The upside can be attributed to increase in net sales, driven by growth in the volume of Atrius-based luminaires along with Holophane solutions.

Acuity Brands Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

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

Sales

Net sales during the fourth quarter were $1.06 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.02 million by 4.2%. Also, the reported figure increased 11% year over year.

The upside can be attributed to 13% increase in volume, as well as a 1% favorable impact from acquisitions and foreign exchange rates. These were partially overshadowed by a 3% net unfavorable change in product prices as well as mix of products sold ("price/mix"). Notably, for the first time, the company reported net sales of more than $1 billion.

Operating Highlights

Adjusted gross profit margin was 39% in the quarter under review, down 350 basis points (bps) on a year-over-year basis.

Adjusted selling, distribution and administrative or SG&A expenses were 24.4% of net sales, up 30 bps from 24.1% in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted operating margin was 14.5%, down 390 bps year over year.

Financials

Cash and cash equivalents, as of Aug 31, 2018, were $129 million, down from $182 million in fiscal 2017.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $353 million in fiscal 2018 compared with $337 million a year ago.

Fiscal 2018 Highlights

Net sales were up 5% to $3.68 billion year over year.

Adjusted operating profit declined 11% to $528 million from the prior-year level of $592 million.

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