Citigroup Upgrades Franklin Resources (BEN) to Neutral

Citigroup upgraded shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a report issued on Monday, Benzinga reports. They currently have $35.00 price objective on the closed-end fund’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $28.00.

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Bank of America set a $32.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources and gave the stock a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Franklin Resources from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $38.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. ValuEngine raised shares of Franklin Resources from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, March 1st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a hold rating and issued a $33.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Tuesday, February 26th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $28.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources and gave the stock a sell rating in a research note on Friday, February 8th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $30.55.

Franklin Resources stock opened at $34.91 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 3.93, a current ratio of 3.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. The firm has a market capitalization of $17.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.94, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 1.18. Franklin Resources has a twelve month low of $27.34 and a twelve month high of $35.82.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.54 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.10). The business had revenue of $1.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.44 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 15.01% and a net margin of 26.55%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.88 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post 2.48 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 29th were given a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.98%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 28th. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 32.60%.

In other Franklin Resources news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 10,663 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.82, for a total value of $349,959.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 22.20% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Alpha Omega Wealth Management LLC increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 120.8% in the fourth quarter. Alpha Omega Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,325 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $39,000 after acquiring an additional 725 shares during the period. Vigilant Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Franklin Resources during the first quarter valued at about $39,000. Clean Yield Group purchased a new position in shares of Franklin Resources during the fourth quarter valued at about $44,000. CWM LLC increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 22.5% during the fourth quarter. CWM LLC now owns 1,772 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $53,000 after buying an additional 325 shares during the period. Finally, Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 102.2% during the fourth quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 1,943 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $58,000 after buying an additional 982 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.53% of the company’s stock.

Franklin Resources Company Profile

Franklin Resources, Inc offers banking products and services. It offers demand deposits and interest and non-interest bearing time and savings deposits. The bank's deposits include jumbo deposits and retail time deposits. The bank provides commercial and industrial loans, consumer loans, commercial real estate loans, and other loans and leases.

Further Reading: Systematic Risk and Investors

Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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