United Services Automobile Association cut its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 17.2% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 408,240 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 84,769 shares during the period. United Services Automobile Association owned about 0.08% of Franklin Resources worth $12,415,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in BEN. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI bought a new stake in Franklin Resources during the third quarter worth $126,946,000. Abrams Capital Management L.P. lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 25.2% during the third quarter. Abrams Capital Management L.P. now owns 9,945,023 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $302,428,000 after purchasing an additional 2,000,000 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 108.2% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 3,197,116 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $102,468,000 after purchasing an additional 1,661,189 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 27.4% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,340,194 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $131,985,000 after purchasing an additional 932,439 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 30.2% during the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 3,790,481 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $120,537,000 after purchasing an additional 879,164 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 47.83% of the company’s stock.
Several research firms have weighed in on BEN. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Franklin Resources from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. ValuEngine upgraded Franklin Resources from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 20th. Deutsche Bank cut their target price on Franklin Resources from $30.00 to $29.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, November 16th. Morgan Stanley set a $29.00 target price on Franklin Resources and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on Franklin Resources from $28.00 to $26.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 26th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have assigned a hold rating to the company. Franklin Resources has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.18.
In related news, insider Jed A. Plafker sold 4,820 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.85, for a total value of $158,337.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 56,369 shares in the company, valued at $1,851,721.65. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 10,216 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.26, for a total value of $350,000.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 338,036 shares of company stock valued at $10,979,997 over the last quarter. 22.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Shares of BEN opened at $32.24 on Friday. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 52 week low of $28.12 and a 52 week high of $45.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $16.69 billion, a PE ratio of 10.11, a PEG ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 1.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 3.71 and a quick ratio of 3.71.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.39. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 16.26% and a net margin of 12.10%. The company had revenue of $1.53 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.55 billion. As a group, analysts expect that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.81 EPS for the current year.
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Franklin Resources Profile
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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