Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Franklin Resources underperformed the industry over the past six months. However, the company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. Top-line strength and growth in assets under management (AUM) were witnessed in fourth-quarter fiscal 2017. Nevertheless, elevated operating expenses and net outflows remained on the downside. We remain optimistic as strategic acquisitions and solid distribution platform have well positioned the company for growth. Further, management continues with cost-control measures. Though volatile markets and unfavorable global economic conditions may affect the company’s performance and hurt profitability, its involvement in steady capital deployment activities boosts shareholders’ confidence.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub lowered Franklin Resources from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a hold rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on Franklin Resources from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company lowered Franklin Resources from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $50.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Franklin Resources presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $44.45.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $1.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.64 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.60% and a net margin of 26.54%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.82 earnings per share.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 29th were issued a $0.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 28th. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.90%. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.67%.

In other Franklin Resources news, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 56,825 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.83, for a total value of $2,433,814.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 2,047,273 shares in the company, valued at $87,684,702.59. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 21.60% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Conning Inc. raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 0.9% in the second quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 8,696 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $389,000 after purchasing an additional 80 shares in the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 2.3% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 5,244 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $235,000 after purchasing an additional 116 shares in the last quarter. NGAM Advisors L.P. raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 0.6% in the second quarter. NGAM Advisors L.P. now owns 25,308 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $1,134,000 after purchasing an additional 148 shares in the last quarter. Boston Family Office LLC raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 3.0% in the second quarter. Boston Family Office LLC now owns 5,115 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $229,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 2.1% in the second quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 8,134 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $364,000 after purchasing an additional 168 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 45.15% of the company’s stock.

Franklin Resources Company 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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Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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