Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was the target of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Stock traders acquired 2,300 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 1,347% compared to the average volume of 159 call options.

A number of brokerages recently commented on BEN. TheStreet downgraded Franklin Resources from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, August 9th. Barclays set a $27.00 price objective on Franklin Resources and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. ValuEngine downgraded Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 10th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Franklin Resources from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $32.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Citigroup lifted their price objective on Franklin Resources from $35.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 9th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $31.02.

Franklin Resources stock traded up $0.12 during trading on Friday, reaching $29.91. 3,341,117 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,908,270. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $28.93 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $32.62. 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 company has a market capitalization of $14.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.38, a PEG ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.22. Franklin Resources has a 52-week low of $25.57 and a 52-week high of $35.82.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.63 by ($0.15). The business had revenue of $1.48 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.48 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.43% and a net margin of 23.80%. Franklin Resources’s revenue was down 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.75 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Franklin Resources will post 2.58 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 27th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.48%. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.60%.

In other news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.01, for a total value of $130,050.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 100,009 shares in the company, valued at $2,601,234.09. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. State of Alaska Department of Revenue grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 0.3% in the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 113,777 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $3,957,000 after buying an additional 318 shares in the last quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 4.1% in the first quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 8,492 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $281,000 after buying an additional 338 shares in the last quarter. Saratoga Research & Investment Management grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 1.8% in the second quarter. Saratoga Research & Investment Management now owns 19,265 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $670,000 after buying an additional 340 shares in the last quarter. Poehling Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 4.9% in the second quarter. Poehling Capital Management LLC now owns 7,583 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $264,000 after buying an additional 355 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Everett Harris & Co. CA grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 1.2% in the first quarter. Everett Harris & Co. CA now owns 30,541 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,012,000 after buying an additional 360 shares in the last quarter. 50.47% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

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