Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Franklin Resources has negative record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. The company’s muted growth in Assets Under Management is likely to put a pressure on investment management fees growth. Also, volatile markets and unfavorable global economic conditions may further affect performance of the company. Additionally, the company is subject to numerous regulations by U.S. and foreign regulators that add further complexity to ongoing global compliance operations. However, Franklin should benefit from its diversification strategies, strong distribution platform and expense management.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Citigroup Inc. decreased their target price on Franklin Resources from $40.00 to $39.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 20th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 9th. Barclays PLC reissued an “underweight” rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Jefferies Group reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods boosted their target price on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $37.74.

Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

Shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) traded down 1.05% on Tuesday, hitting $35.90. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,336,683 shares. The firm has a market cap of $20.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.28 and a beta of 1.66. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $35.86 and its 200-day moving average price is $36.05. Franklin Resources has a 52 week low of $30.56 and a 52 week high of $42.23.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $1.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.63 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 12.98% and a net margin of 23.44%. The firm’s revenue was down 18.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.82 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Franklin Resources will post $2.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Investors of record on Friday, September 30th will be given a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 28th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.98%. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.57%.

In other Franklin Resources news, insider Jennifer M. Johnson sold 15,892 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.99, for a total value of $571,953.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 1,473,782 shares in the company, valued at $53,041,414.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.18, for a total value of $180,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 20.41% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its position in Franklin Resources by 81.3% in the first quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 123,838 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $4,836,000 after buying an additional 55,546 shares in the last quarter. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd increased its position in Franklin Resources by 42.9% in the first quarter. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd now owns 1,256,286 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $49,058,000 after buying an additional 377,123 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in Franklin Resources by 26.2% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,522,149 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $98,490,000 after buying an additional 524,246 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in Franklin Resources by 0.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 9,840,200 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $384,260,000 after buying an additional 37,105 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD increased its position in Franklin Resources by 0.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 3,053,743 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $119,249,000 after buying an additional 18,028 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 48.39% of the company’s stock.

Franklin Resources Company Profile

Franklin Resources, Inc (Franklin), is a holding company. Franklin together with its various subsidiaries (collectively, the Company), is referred to as Franklin Templeton Investments, is a global investment management organization offering investment management and related services under the Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Bissett, Fiduciary and Darby brand names.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BEN

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