Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN) Given Underweight Rating at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley reaffirmed their underweight rating on shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) in a research report report published on Friday morning.

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on BEN. Citigroup Inc boosted their target price on Franklin Resources from $40.00 to $40.50 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 25th. Credit Suisse Group AG restated an underperform rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Saturday, December 10th. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded Franklin Resources from a sell rating to a hold rating and boosted their target price for the company from $37.00 to $41.00 in a research report on Friday, February 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a neutral rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Thursday, January 12th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Franklin Resources from a c rating to a b- rating in a research report on Friday, March 3rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $38.88.

Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

Shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) traded down 0.17% on Friday, hitting $42.15. The stock had a trading volume of 498,074 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average of $41.89 and a 200-day moving average of $38.65. The company has a market cap of $23.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.21 and a beta of 1.78. Franklin Resources has a 52-week low of $30.56 and a 52-week high of $44.35.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its earnings results on Friday, January 27th. The closed-end fund reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.88% and a net margin of 26.77%. The business earned $1.56 billion during the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.74 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 11.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post $2.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 29th. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.89%. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.94%.

In other news, insider Jennifer M. Johnson sold 16,835 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.90, for a total transaction of $739,056.50. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 1,521,037 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $66,773,524.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.18, for a total value of $1,079,500.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 2,162,863 shares in the company, valued at $93,392,424.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 21.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 10.2% in the third quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 268,440 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $9,548,000 after buying an additional 24,816 shares during the last quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 252.9% in the third quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 258,224 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $9,185,000 after buying an additional 185,049 shares during the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 37.0% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,971,073 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $70,111,000 after buying an additional 532,046 shares during the last quarter. DUPONT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT Corp increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 7.5% in the third quarter. DUPONT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 139,800 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $4,973,000 after buying an additional 9,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 4.4% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,590,323 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $163,278,000 after buying an additional 192,794 shares during the last quarter. 48.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BEN

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