Commerce Bank Reduces Position in Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN)

Commerce Bank lessened its holdings in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 7.4% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 50,698 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 4,057 shares during the quarter. Commerce Bank’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $1,541,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of BEN. Pinebridge Investments L.P. acquired a new stake in Franklin Resources during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $471,000. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. acquired a new stake in Franklin Resources during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $4,272,000. Insight 2811 Inc. increased its position in Franklin Resources by 63.4% during the 2nd quarter. Insight 2811 Inc. now owns 26,554 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $851,000 after purchasing an additional 10,300 shares during the period. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec increased its position in Franklin Resources by 24.5% during the 2nd quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 17,808 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $571,000 after purchasing an additional 3,500 shares during the period. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its position in Franklin Resources by 115.2% during the 2nd quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 158,400 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $5,077,000 after purchasing an additional 84,790 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 46.57% of the company’s stock.

BEN has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Franklin Resources from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 24th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Franklin Resources from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $32.00 to $29.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 6th. Deutsche Bank decreased their target price on shares of Franklin Resources from $33.00 to $32.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, August 16th. Barclays decreased their target price on shares of Franklin Resources from $32.00 to $30.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Franklin Resources from $32.00 to $30.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and six have assigned a hold rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $34.27.

In other news, insider Jed A. Plafker sold 4,820 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.85, for a total transaction of $158,337.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 56,369 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,851,721.65. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 11,165 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.35, for a total transaction of $350,022.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.

Shares of BEN stock opened at $30.87 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $16.61 billion, a PE ratio of 9.85, a P/E/G ratio of 1.07 and a beta of 1.28. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 52 week low of $28.12 and a 52 week high of $45.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 3.37 and a quick ratio of 3.37.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.39. The company had revenue of $1.53 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.55 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 12.10% and a return on equity of 16.00%. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 28th were given a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.98%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 27th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 28.84%.

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About Franklin Resources

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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