Nisa Investment Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 9.4% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 131,621 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after acquiring an additional 11,300 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $3,896,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board bought a new position in Franklin Resources in the 4th quarter worth approximately $1,073,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new position in Franklin Resources in the 4th quarter worth approximately $410,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in Franklin Resources by 35.2% in the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 947,689 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $23,682,000 after purchasing an additional 246,861 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. boosted its stake in Franklin Resources by 14.5% in the 4th quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 67,368 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $1,684,000 after purchasing an additional 8,514 shares during the period. Finally, Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV boosted its stake in Franklin Resources by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV now owns 33,220 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $830,000 after purchasing an additional 578 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 45.74% of the company’s stock.
In other news, insider Alok Sethi sold 39,890 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.09, for a total transaction of $1,080,620.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Jed A. Plafker sold 20,782 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.67, for a total value of $595,819.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 75,672 shares of company stock worth $2,104,440. Insiders own 23.10% of the company’s stock.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last released its earnings results on Monday, February 1st. The closed-end fund reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72 by $0.01. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 12.15% and a net margin of 14.15%. The business had revenue of $2 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.96 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.67 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 43.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts expect that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 3.01 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 31st were paid a $0.28 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, March 30th. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.70%. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 42.91%.
Several research analysts have weighed in on BEN shares. BMO Capital Markets upgraded Franklin Resources from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $22.00 to $36.00 in a research note on Monday, March 29th. The Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Franklin Resources from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $24.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, January 5th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft increased their target price on Franklin Resources from $26.00 to $29.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 9th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Franklin Resources from $22.00 to $24.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 14th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Franklin Resources from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 2nd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $25.23.
Franklin Resources Company Profile
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.
Further Reading: Fiduciary
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