Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE:BEN) had its target price hoisted by research analysts at Jefferies Group from $34.00 to $36.00 in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a “hold” rating on the closed-end fund’s stock. Jefferies Group’s target price suggests a potential downside of 1.04% from the company’s current price.

BEN has been the topic of a number of other reports. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 5th. Citigroup Inc. lifted their target price on Franklin Resources from $36.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Barclays PLC lowered their target price on Franklin Resources from $31.00 to $30.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Zacks Investment Research cut Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 4th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lifted their target price on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $37.88.

Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

Shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) traded down 3.944% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $34.945. 2,184,964 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $35.84 and a 200 day moving average price of $35.96. The company has a market cap of $20.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.928 and a beta of 1.66. Franklin Resources has a 12 month low of $30.56 and a 12 month high of $42.23.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $1.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.63 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 12.98% and a net margin of 23.44%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 18.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.82 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Franklin Resources will post $2.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 30th will be paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.98%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 28th. 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 company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 sale, the insider now owns 1,473,782 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $53,041,414.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was 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. 20.41% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bingham Osborn & Scarborough LLC raised its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 0.6% in the second quarter. Bingham Osborn & Scarborough LLC now owns 7,935 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $265,000 after buying an additional 47 shares in the last quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 0.4% in the second quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI now owns 36,655 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,227,000 after buying an additional 130 shares during the last quarter. Essex Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 1.6% in the second quarter. Essex Financial Services Inc. now owns 8,759 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $292,000 after buying an additional 140 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 0.6% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 25,302 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $844,000 after buying an additional 148 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FTB Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 8.4% in the second quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 3,208 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 248 shares during the last quarter. 48.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Franklin Resources

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.

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