Franklin Resources Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:BEN)

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Investors bought 3,061 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,591% compared to the average daily volume of 181 call options.

In related news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.01, for a total value 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 23.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 15.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 37,527,041 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $1,305,941,000 after purchasing an additional 4,944,487 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 123.3% during the 3rd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 4,035,455 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $116,463,000 after purchasing an additional 2,228,215 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 46.9% during the 2nd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 6,018,027 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $183,902,000 after purchasing an additional 1,920,900 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 17,619.0% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 1,360,466 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $47,344,000 after purchasing an additional 1,352,788 shares during the period. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 148.5% during the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 1,129,235 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $39,299,000 after purchasing an additional 674,759 shares during the period. 49.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages recently commented on BEN. Barclays reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $24.00 price objective on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Wednesday, October 9th. TheStreet lowered shares of Franklin Resources from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, August 9th. BMO Capital Markets began coverage on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Monday, October 7th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $16.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on shares of Franklin Resources from $31.00 to $28.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Franklin Resources from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. Franklin Resources has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.35.

BEN traded up $0.21 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $28.18. 837,721 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,645,246. Franklin Resources has a 1 year low of $25.57 and a 1 year high of $35.82. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 3.35 and a quick ratio of 3.35. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 1.23. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $27.86 and its 200-day simple moving average is $31.05.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.64 by ($0.03). Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 12.35% and a net margin of 20.71%. The business had revenue of $1.45 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.46 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.96 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Franklin Resources will post 2.6 EPS for the current year.

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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