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Acuity Brands rises 7% on better-than-expected Q4 results

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Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI), a provider of lighting products, reported today a larger than expected increase in sales and earnings per share for the fourth quarter.

For the fourth quarter ending August 31, 2010, the company earned $27.2 million on sales of $444.1 million, compared to profits of $29.1 million on sales of $422.6 million in Q4 of fiscal 2009.  Earnings per diluted share for the quarter were 62 cents, compared to 66 cents for the year-ago period.

The results beat Wall Street’s estimates of 58 cents earnings per share on sales of $432 million.

For fiscal 2010, the company earned roughly $80 million, or $1.80 per diluted share, on sales of $1.6 billion, versus profits of $85 million, or $2 per diluted share, on sales of $1.7 billion in fiscal 2009.

At the end of fiscal 2010, the company had current assets of $626.3 million, with about 30% of it in cash.  The company’s liabilities totalled $805.9 million, of which $321.3 million is due within the next year.

Looking ahead, Vernon Nagel, CEO of Acuity Brands, said, “We remain cautious about the potential for increases in material and component costs, and we will be as vigilant as possible in our pricing strategies to protect our margins and market position.”

Since the announcement, Acuity’s shares have rallied 7% to trade at $47.61 as of 1:40 pm ET.

Quick facts: Acuity Brands, Inc.

Price: 94.69 USD

NYSE:AYI
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $3.75 billion
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