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Acuity Brands'(NYSE:AYI) Share Price Is Down 41% Over The Past Five Years.

Simply Wall St
·3 mins read

While it may not be enough for some shareholders, we think it is good to see the Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) share price up 15% in a single quarter. But over the last half decade, the stock has not performed well. After all, the share price is down 41% in that time, significantly under-performing the market.

Check out our latest analysis for Acuity Brands

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

While the share price declined over five years, Acuity Brands actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 6.5% per year. So it doesn't seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.

Because of the sharp contrast between the EPS growth rate and the share price growth, we're inclined to look to other metrics to understand the changing market sentiment around the stock.

We don't think that the 0.5% is big factor in the share price, since it's quite small, as dividends go. Revenue is actually up 5.4% over the time period. So it seems one might have to take closer look at the fundamentals to understand why the share price languishes. After all, there may be an opportunity.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

This free interactive report on Acuity Brands' balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Acuity Brands had a tough year, with a total loss of 23% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 16%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 7.0% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. If you would like to research Acuity Brands in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.