Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reissued by Jefferies Group LLC in a research note issued on Friday. They currently have a $44.00 target price on the closed-end fund’s stock. Jefferies Group LLC’s price objective suggests a potential downside of 4.91% from the company’s current price.

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “underweight” rating and set a $40.00 price objective (up previously from $39.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Monday, July 10th. BidaskClub raised Franklin Resources from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on shares of Franklin Resources from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $42.56.

Franklin Resources (BEN) traded down 0.11% during trading on Friday, hitting $46.27. The stock had a trading volume of 2,124,180 shares. The company has a market cap of $25.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.91 and a beta of 1.73. The company has a 50-day moving average of $43.20 and a 200 day moving average of $41.87. Franklin Resources has a 52 week low of $31.59 and a 52 week high of $46.61.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last released its earnings results on Friday, April 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by $0.07. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 27.77% and a return on equity of 14.34%. The business had revenue of $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.57 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.61 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post $2.93 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 14th. Investors of record on Friday, June 30th were issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 28th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 25.81%.

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In other Franklin Resources news, CFO Kenneth A. Lewis sold 17,141 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.51, for a total value of $762,945.91. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 124,021 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,520,174.71. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 21.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 9,148 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $362,000 after buying an additional 56 shares during the period. Alpha Windward LLC raised its position in Franklin Resources by 1.0% in the first quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 5,921 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $250,000 after buying an additional 57 shares during the last quarter. Creative Planning raised its position in Franklin Resources by 1.8% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 5,664 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $239,000 after buying an additional 98 shares during the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 0.3% in the first quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 40,840 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $1,721,000 after buying an additional 104 shares during the period. Finally, Nicholas Hoffman & Company LLC. increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 0.9% in the first quarter. Nicholas Hoffman & Company LLC. now owns 13,835 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $583,000 after buying an additional 130 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 45.56% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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