Several brokerages have updated their recommendations and price targets on shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN) in the last few weeks:

  • 1/11/2019 – Franklin Resources was downgraded by analysts at Bank of America Corp from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating.
  • 1/10/2019 – Franklin Resources had its “sell” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Barclays PLC. They now have a $23.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/9/2019 – Franklin Resources had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. They now have a $28.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/9/2019 – Franklin Resources had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Jefferies Financial Group Inc. They now have a $30.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/8/2019 – Franklin Resources was downgraded by analysts at Evercore ISI from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating. They now have a $30.19 price target on the stock.
  • 12/31/2018 – Franklin Resources was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Franklin Resources have underperformed the industry year to date. However, the company displays an impressive earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three out of the trailing four quarters. Though strategic acquisitions, solid distribution platform and cost-control measures have well positioned the company for growth, volatile markets and unfavorable global economic conditions might affect the company’s performance and dampen profitability. Further, persistent fall in investment management fees are expected to hurt revenue growth to some extent.”
  • 12/5/2018 – Franklin Resources was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Franklin Resources have underperformed the industry year to date. However, the company displays an impressive earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three out of the trailing four quarters. The company’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 (ended Sep 30) earnings reflected prudent expense management. However, reduced revenues and assets under management (AUM) were major drags. Though strategic acquisitions, solid distribution platform and cost-control measures have well positioned the company for growth, volatile markets and unfavorable global economic conditions might affect the company’s performance and dampen profitability. Further, persistent fall in investment management fees are expected to hurt revenue growth to some extent.”
  • 11/20/2018 – Franklin Resources was upgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 11/16/2018 – Franklin Resources had its price target lowered by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG from $30.00 to $29.00. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.

Shares of BEN opened at $30.33 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 3.71, a current ratio of 3.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 12 month low of $27.34 and a 12 month high of $45.96. The firm has a market cap of $15.53 billion, a PE ratio of 9.51, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 1.26.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.39. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 16.26% and a net margin of 12.10%. The firm had revenue of $1.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.55 billion. Analysts forecast that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.75 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 31st were paid a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.43%. This is a positive change from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 28th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.60%.

In other news, Vice Chairman Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. sold 323,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.42, for a total transaction of $10,471,660.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 103,653,045 shares in the company, valued at $3,360,431,718.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 10,216 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.26, for a total transaction of $350,000.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. lifted its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 13.3% in the 4th quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 18,800 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $571,000 after buying an additional 2,200 shares during the last quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 11.3% in the 3rd quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC now owns 1,166,904 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $35,486,000 after purchasing an additional 118,312 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 17.1% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 32,666,942 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $993,402,000 after purchasing an additional 4,764,162 shares during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 239.9% in the 3rd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 19,749 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $601,000 after purchasing an additional 13,939 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 17.1% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,666,942 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $993,402,000 after acquiring an additional 4,764,162 shares in the last quarter. 47.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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