Acuity Brands, Inc.
- Company Name
- Acuity Brands, Inc.
- Stock Symbol
- Class Period
- June 29, 2016 to April 3, 2017
- Motion Deadline
- March 4, 2018
- District of Delaware
The complaint charges Acuity and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Acuity is a provider of lighting and building management solutions for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure and residential applications.
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s financial well-being, business relationships and prospects. Among other things, the complaint alleges that the defendants concealed known trends negatively impacting sales of the Company’s products and overstated the Company’s ability to achieve profitable sales growth. As a result of defendants’ false statements and/or omissions, Acuity securities traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, with Acuity’s stock price reaching a high of nearly $280 per share.
On October 5, 2016, the Company released the first in a series of disappointing quarterly financial and operational reports to investors. During a conference call to discuss the Company’s fourth quarter and full-year fiscal 2016 financial results, defendant Vernon J. Nagel explained that “[t]his year’s presidential election in the US and events such as [the] UK’s referendum vote to exit the European Union continue to create uncertainty and volatility.” Following this news, the price of Acuity stock declined $12.01 per share, or nearly 5%, to close at $242.99 per share on October 5, 2016.
On January 9, 2017, the Company announced its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2017. During a conference call to discuss the results, defendant Nagel represented that “[d]emand softened in the back half of the quarter particularly for smaller projects apparently due to, what many of our customers are telling us, [was] election jitters” and profitability suffered from carrying excess employees during the quarter in “anticipation of higher volumes” of sales than were actually generated. Following this news, the price of Acuity stock declined an additional $34.85 per share, or nearly 15%, to close at $202.51 per share on January 9, 2017.
Then, on April 4, 2017, the Company announced its financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2017. During a conference call to discuss the results, defendant Nagel continued to blame “the impact of continued softness in demand for certain short cycle, small lighting projects,” but acknowledged for the first time that demand softness “could potentially linger into the second half of 2017.” Following this news, the price of the Company’s stock fell another $30.13 per share, or over 14%, to close at $173.93 per share on April 4, 2017.