BlackRock Inc. reduced its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 22,915,402 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 112,594 shares during the quarter. BlackRock Inc. owned 4.55% of Franklin Resources worth $797,458,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in BEN. O Keefe Stevens Advisory Inc. grew its stake in Franklin Resources by 2.8% during the second quarter. O Keefe Stevens Advisory Inc. now owns 179,184 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $6,236,000 after buying an additional 4,869 shares during the period. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Franklin Resources during the second quarter worth approximately $331,000. Indiana Trust & Investment Management CO purchased a new stake in Franklin Resources during the second quarter worth approximately $694,000. Kwmg LLC grew its stake in Franklin Resources by 8.3% during the second quarter. Kwmg LLC now owns 74,211 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $2,583,000 after buying an additional 5,664 shares during the period. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB grew its stake in Franklin Resources by 3.4% during the second quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 118,303 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $4,117,000 after buying an additional 3,879 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 49.87% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts have issued reports on BEN shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Franklin Resources from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $32.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Thursday, September 12th. Barclays restated a “sell” rating and issued a $24.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Wednesday, October 9th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Franklin Resources from $31.00 to $28.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 8th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Franklin Resources from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Monday, October 7th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $16.00 target price for the company. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $29.35.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its earnings results on Friday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $1.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.46 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 20.71% and a return on equity of 12.35%. Franklin Resources’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.96 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.59 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 30th were paid a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 27th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.68%. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 41.27%.
In related news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.01, for a total value of $130,050.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,009 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,601,234.09. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.
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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