Franklin Resources (BEN) Earns “Hold” Rating from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated their hold rating on shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) in a research report report published on Friday. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods currently has a $47.00 price target on the closed-end fund’s stock.

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on BEN. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Franklin Resources from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $50.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Citigroup cut their price target on Franklin Resources from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Wells Fargo & Co cut their price target on Franklin Resources from $50.00 to $48.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 27th. ValuEngine upgraded Franklin Resources from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Finally, UBS Group lifted their price target on Franklin Resources from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $44.55.

Shares of Franklin Resources (BEN) opened at $43.91 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08, a current ratio of 8.75 and a quick ratio of 8.75. The company has a market capitalization of $24,320.00, a PE ratio of 14.59, a PEG ratio of 2.40 and a beta of 1.75. Franklin Resources has a 12 month low of $39.23 and a 12 month high of $47.65.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.76 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $1.62 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.64 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.48% and a net margin of 26.54%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.82 EPS. analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post 2.93 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 26th will be given a dividend of $0.23 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 22nd. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.10%. This is a boost from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 26.58%.

In related news, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 56,825 shares of Franklin Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.83, for a total value of $2,433,814.75. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 2,047,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $87,684,702.59. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Jed A. Plafker sold 7,790 shares of Franklin Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.92, for a total transaction of $342,136.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 514,603 shares of company stock worth $22,134,429. Insiders own 21.60% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. IFP Advisors Inc raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 16.1% during the 2nd quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,685 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $120,000 after acquiring an additional 372 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 15.3% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,343,749 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $60,187,000 after acquiring an additional 178,659 shares during the period. BB&T Securities LLC bought a new stake in Franklin Resources during the 2nd quarter valued at $208,000. Cadence Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Cadence Capital Management LLC now owns 13,261 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $594,000 after acquiring an additional 413 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 15.6% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 34,822 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,560,000 after acquiring an additional 4,703 shares during the period. 44.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Franklin Resources

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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