Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) Short Interest Down 11.6% in August

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 27,266,400 shares, a decrease of 11.6% from the July 31st total of 30,827,300 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 3,030,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 9.0 days. Currently, 9.9% of the company’s stock are short sold.

BEN traded up $0.21 on Friday, hitting $30.00. 96,483 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,013,548. The company has a 50 day moving average of $28.93 and a 200-day moving average of $32.62. The company has a quick ratio of 3.35, a current ratio of 3.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.33 billion, a PE ratio of 9.38, a PEG ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.22. Franklin Resources has a 12-month low of $25.57 and a 12-month high of $35.82.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.63 by ($0.15). The company had revenue of $1.48 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.48 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 23.80% and a return on equity of 13.43%. The firm’s revenue was down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.75 earnings per share. On average, research analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post 2.58 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 30th will be paid a dividend of $0.26 per share. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.47%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 27th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.60%.

In other news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.01, for a total transaction of $130,050.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,009 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,601,234.09. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Trustcore Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in Franklin Resources during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its stake in Franklin Resources by 232.6% during the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 725 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $25,000 after acquiring an additional 507 shares during the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC raised its stake in Franklin Resources by 5,760.0% during the 2nd quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 879 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $31,000 after acquiring an additional 864 shares during the last quarter. Smith Asset Management Group LP purchased a new stake in Franklin Resources during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Finally, Knuff & Co LLC purchased a new stake in Franklin Resources during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $33,000. 50.47% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

BEN has been the subject of several research reports. Citigroup boosted their target price on Franklin Resources from $35.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 9th. TheStreet downgraded Franklin Resources from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Friday, August 9th. Barclays set a $27.00 target price on Franklin Resources and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. ValuEngine downgraded Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, August 10th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Franklin Resources from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $32.00 target price for the company in a report on Thursday. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Franklin Resources presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $31.02.

About Franklin Resources

Franklin Resources, Inc is a publicly owned asset management holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the firm provides its services to individuals, institutions, pension plans, trusts, and partnerships. It launches equity, fixed income, balanced, and multi-asset mutual funds through its subsidiaries.

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