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Acuity Brands stock tumbles after sales miss, downbeat outlook

Tomi Kilgore

Shares of Acuity Brands Inc. tumbled 7.8% in premarket trading Tuesday, after the lighting company reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat expectations but sales that missed and provided a downbeat outlook. Net income for the quarter to May 31 rose to $88.4 million, or $2.22 a share, from $73.0 million, or $1.80 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share grew to $2.53 from $2.37, above the FactSet consensus of $2.42. Sales rose 0.4% to $947.6 million, but missed the FactSet consensus of $971.4 million. "We believe our third quarter net sales growth was also muted by the impact of customers, primarily in the independent sales network channel, pulling forward orders into the first half of the year in advance of announced price increases," said Chief Executive Vernon Nagel. For the fiscal fourth quarter, Nagel said he believes "sales could be down modestly" from a year ago, while the current FactSet consensus of $1.08 billion implies growth of 1.6%. The stock has rallied 13.8% over the past three months through Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 2.1%.