Shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) have been assigned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the fifteen brokerages that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have given a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price target among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $44.00.

A number of research firms have recently commented on BEN. ValuEngine upgraded Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Barclays assumed coverage on Franklin Resources in a research note on Friday, September 8th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $40.00 price target on the stock. UBS Group boosted their price target on Franklin Resources from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Franklin Resources from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) traded down $0.15 during trading on Friday, hitting $43.30. The stock had a trading volume of 2,110,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,173,933. The company has a quick ratio of 8.75, a current ratio of 8.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08. The company has a market capitalization of $24,060.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.39, a PEG ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 1.75. Franklin Resources has a twelve month low of $39.38 and a twelve month high of $47.65.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.76 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $1.62 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.64 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.48% and a net margin of 26.54%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.82 earnings per share. analysts predict that Franklin Resources will post 2.97 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 26th will be paid a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.12%. This is a positive change from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 22nd. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is currently 30.56%.

In other news, Vice Chairman Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. sold 400,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.95, for a total value of $17,180,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 56,825 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.83, for a total value of $2,433,814.75. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 2,047,273 shares in the company, valued at $87,684,702.59. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 514,603 shares of company stock worth $22,134,429 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 21.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BEN. BB&T Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $208,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 15.6% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 34,822 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,560,000 after purchasing an additional 4,703 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources by 8.3% in the 2nd quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 8,954 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $401,000 after acquiring an additional 689 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources by 81.7% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 884,495 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $39,617,000 after acquiring an additional 397,794 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Tennessee Treasury Department boosted its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources by 24.4% in the 2nd quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 185,538 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $8,310,000 after acquiring an additional 36,402 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 44.71% of the company’s stock.

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About Franklin Resources

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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