Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research
Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Franklin Resources has negative record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. The company’s muted growth in Assets Under Management is likely to put a pressure on investment management fees growth. Also, volatile markets and unfavorable global economic conditions may further affect performance of the company. Additionally, the company is subject to numerous regulations by U.S. and foreign regulators that add further complexity to ongoing global compliance operations. However, Franklin should benefit from its diversification strategies, strong distribution platform and expense management.”
Several other research analysts have also recently commented on BEN. Barclays PLC reduced their price target on Franklin Resources from $32.00 to $31.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, June 9th. Citigroup Inc. increased their price target on Franklin Resources from $37.50 to $38.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 9th. Deutsche Bank AG reduced their price target on Franklin Resources from $37.00 to $35.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, June 16th. Jefferies Group reduced their price target on Franklin Resources from $38.00 to $34.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods increased their price target on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $37.74.
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Shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) opened at 35.92 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $20.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.29 and a beta of 1.66. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $35.85 and its 200 day moving average price is $36.01. Franklin Resources has a one year low of $30.56 and a one year high of $42.23.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.10. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 12.98% and a net margin of 23.44%. The firm earned $1.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.63 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.82 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 18.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post $2.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 30th will be issued a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.00%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 28th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is presently 26.57%.
In other Franklin Resources news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.18, for a total value of $180,900.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Jennifer M. Johnson sold 15,892 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.99, for a total value of $571,953.08. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 1,473,782 shares in the company, valued at approximately $53,041,414.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 20.41% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 1.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 25,374,475 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $846,745,000 after buying an additional 251,984 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in Franklin Resources by 1.6% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 18,875,405 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $737,075,000 after buying an additional 289,515 shares during the period. Vulcan Value Partners LLC raised its position in Franklin Resources by 0.8% in the second quarter. Vulcan Value Partners LLC now owns 14,330,506 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $478,209,000 after buying an additional 112,491 shares during the period. Pzena Investment Management LLC raised its position in Franklin Resources by 0.7% in the second quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 10,670,335 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $356,069,000 after buying an additional 72,666 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in Franklin Resources by 0.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 9,840,200 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $384,260,000 after buying an additional 37,105 shares during the period. 48.39% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Franklin Resources Company Profile
Franklin Resources, Inc (Franklin), is a holding company. Franklin together with its various subsidiaries (collectively, the Company), is referred to as Franklin Templeton Investments, is a global investment management organization offering investment management and related services under the Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Bissett, Fiduciary and Darby brand names.
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