Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, June 27th.

According to Zacks, “Franklin Resources’ shares outperformed the Zacks categorized Investment Management industry over the past six months. We remain optimistic as strategic acquisitions and solid distribution platform have well positioned the company toward growth. Also, the company recorded rise in assets under management in the first two months of the current quarter. Management expects expenses in fiscal 2017 to remain flat or decline slightly considering the impact of previous cost-cutting initiatives. However, volatile markets and unfavorable global economic conditions may affect the company’s performance and hurt its profitability.”

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on BEN. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Franklin Resources from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Franklin Resources from a c rating to a b- rating in a research report on Friday, March 3rd. Credit Suisse Group restated a sell rating and set a $37.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $43.00 target price (up from $42.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Friday, June 9th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reiterated an underweight rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Friday, March 17th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $42.10.

Shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE BEN) opened at 46.15 on Tuesday. Franklin Resources has a one year low of $33.02 and a one year high of $46.61. The stock has a market capitalization of $25.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.87 and a beta of 1.73. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $43.20 and a 200 day moving average price of $41.87.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its earnings results on Friday, April 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.57 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 27.77% and a return on equity of 14.34%. Franklin Resources’s revenue was down .8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.61 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Franklin Resources will post $2.93 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 30th were given a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 28th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is 25.81%.

In other Franklin Resources news, CFO Kenneth A. Lewis sold 17,141 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.51, for a total value of $762,945.91. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 124,021 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,520,174.71. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 21.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BEN. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 88.9% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 2,991 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $126,000 after buying an additional 1,408 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Franklin Resources during the first quarter valued at approximately $193,000. Global X Management Co. LLC boosted its position in Franklin Resources by 7.9% in the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 4,589 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 337 shares during the last quarter. Investment Centers of America Inc. bought a new position in Franklin Resources during the first quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Finally, Mogy Joel R Investment Counsel Inc. bought a new position in Franklin Resources during the first quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 45.55% of the company’s stock.

Franklin Resources Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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