Vertex One Asset Management Inc. lessened its stake in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 1.2% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 405,999 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 5,000 shares during the period. Franklin Resources comprises about 3.0% of Vertex One Asset Management Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 8th biggest position. Vertex One Asset Management Inc. owned 0.07% of Franklin Resources worth $17,592,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Toronto Dominion Bank grew its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 8.3% in the 3rd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 126,061 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $5,610,000 after buying an additional 9,687 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 225.5% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 3,153,748 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $140,499,000 after buying an additional 2,184,863 shares during the last quarter. Pensionfund Sabic bought a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources in the 4th quarter valued at about $1,517,000. APG Asset Management N.V. grew its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 10.6% in the 4th quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 4,318,827 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $155,842,000 after buying an additional 412,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia grew its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 16.0% in the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 89,833 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $3,991,000 after buying an additional 12,416 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 46.95% of the company’s stock.
A number of research firms have commented on BEN. ValuEngine lowered Franklin Resources from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Deutsche Bank reduced their price target on Franklin Resources from $40.00 to $37.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.00.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.13. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.88% and a net margin of 10.44%. The company had revenue of $1.62 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.62 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.77 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a special dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 12th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 29th will be issued a $3.00 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a yield of 2.35%. This is a positive change from Franklin Resources’s previous special dividend of $0.50. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is presently 78.63%.
In other Franklin Resources news, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 49,988 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.58, for a total value of $2,178,477.04. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 2,116,886 shares in the company, valued at $92,253,891.88. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Jed A. Plafker sold 7,790 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.92, for a total value of $342,136.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 22.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
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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.
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