January and February were dark months for the stock market, that’s for sure. Fortunately, March brought us the rebound we were looking for. And, if Acuity Brands’ (AYI) first-quarter earnings report was any indication, this earnings season is going to have its fair share of companies outshine the competition.
As I mentioned yesterday, Acuity Brands is a leading provider of lighting solutions in North America, Europe and Asia. With 13 indoor and outdoor lighting brands, Acuity serves commercial, institutional, industrial and even residential clients. From roadway lighting to decorative lighting to LED solutions, Acuity Brands has it all covered.
Right now, Acuity’s light is shining especially bright. Just this morning, the company smashed analysts’ sales and earnings expectations. Net sales jumped 26% over last year, while adjusted earnings surged 53%. In total, Acuity brought in $777.8 million in net sales, which beat the $752.3 million consensus estimate by a solid 3.4%. The company also posted adjusted earnings per share of $1.80, beating the consensus estimate of $1.51 EPS by a whopping 19.2%.
As to be expected, investors celebrated these results, driving AYI shares more than 10% higher. So even while the overall market’s performance today remains lackluster, AYI shares are trading at an all-time high. This is precisely why Acuity maintains an A-rating in my Portfolio Grader tool.
These top-rated stocks are precisely what you want to keep your eyes on as earnings season progresses. Over the next few weeks, top-rated companies like Acuity will emerge as market leaders, while the majority of the S&P 500 will see their sales and earnings decline. While my Portfolio Grader stock grading tool is an excellent way to assess your holdings, there’s another way to take things a step further. If you really want to stay ahead of the broader market, I urge you to take a look at my Blue Chip Growth servicetodayand decide for yourself if it’s right for you.
And even if you’re not ready to join Blue Chip Growth right now, please stay tuned right here to discover even more market leaders as we continue separating the wheat from the chaff during this earnings season.