Stephens Inc. AR trimmed its stake in shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 9.5% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 36,094 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 3,786 shares during the period. Stephens Inc. AR’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $1,564,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in BEN. Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc bought a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources during the 2nd quarter worth about $123,000. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources during the 4th quarter worth about $125,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources during the 3rd quarter worth about $127,000. Chicago Equity Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources during the 3rd quarter worth about $209,000. Finally, Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources during the 3rd quarter worth about $210,000. Institutional investors own 45.03% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on BEN shares. ValuEngine cut shares of Franklin Resources from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price objective on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. UBS Group lifted their price objective on shares of Franklin Resources from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Citigroup lowered their price objective on shares of Franklin Resources from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.45.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $1.62 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.62 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 10.44% and a return on equity of 13.88%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.77 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 3.25 EPS for the current year.
In other news, insider Jed A. Plafker sold 7,790 shares of Franklin Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.92, for a total value of $342,136.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 49,988 shares of Franklin Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.58, for a total transaction of $2,178,477.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 2,116,886 shares in the company, valued at $92,253,891.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 457,778 shares of company stock worth $19,700,614. 22.20% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Franklin Resources 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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