Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN) Given “Neutral” Rating at UBS AG

UBS AG reiterated their neutral rating on shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) in a research report report published on Monday, July 31st, www.benzinga.com reports. UBS AG currently has a $45.00 price objective on the closed-end fund’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $46.00.

BEN has been the topic of several other reports. BidaskClub raised Franklin Resources from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised Franklin Resources from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $50.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price objective on Franklin Resources from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Wells Fargo & Company lowered Franklin Resources from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $50.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. restated a neutral rating and set a $43.00 price target (up previously from $42.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Friday, June 9th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $43.18.

Shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE BEN) opened at 41.83 on Monday. Franklin Resources has a 52 week low of $33.02 and a 52 week high of $47.65. The company has a 50-day moving average of $44.83 and a 200-day moving average of $42.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.61 and a beta of 1.73.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.73. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.96% and a net margin of 27.30%. The business had revenue of $1.61 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.62 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.77 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post $2.95 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, CFO Kenneth A. Lewis sold 17,141 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.51, for a total transaction of $762,945.91. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 124,021 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,520,174.71. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 21.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 1.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 27,248,491 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,220,459,000 after buying an additional 318,449 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 1.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,369,185 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $957,127,000 after buying an additional 249,766 shares in the last quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 2.4% in the second quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 10,348,419 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $463,506,000 after buying an additional 246,306 shares in the last quarter. Kiltearn Partners LLP increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 0.8% in the second quarter. Kiltearn Partners LLP now owns 6,118,700 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $274,057,000 after buying an additional 50,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 2.3% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,340,482 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $225,047,000 after buying an additional 121,316 shares in the last quarter. 45.68% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Franklin Resources Company Profile

Franklin Resources, Inc is a holding company. The Company, along with its subsidiaries, operates as Franklin Templeton Investments. It is a global investment management company that provides investment management and related services to retail, institutional and high net-worth clients in jurisdictions around the world.

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