Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE:BEN) – Investment analysts at Jefferies Group upped their FY2016 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Franklin Resources in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst D. Fannon now expects that the firm will earn $2.80 per share for the year, up from their prior estimate of $2.79. Jefferies Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $36.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Franklin Resources’ Q1 2017 earnings at $0.70 EPS, Q2 2017 earnings at $0.69 EPS, Q3 2017 earnings at $0.71 EPS, Q4 2017 earnings at $0.72 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $3.14 EPS.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $31.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Tuesday. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $35.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 5th. Zacks Investment Research cut Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 4th. Citigroup Inc. lowered their target price on Franklin Resources from $40.00 to $39.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 20th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lifted their target price on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Five 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 stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $37.88.

Earnings History and Estimates for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) opened at 34.75 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $20.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.86 and a beta of 1.66. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $35.73 and its 200 day moving average price is $35.94. Franklin Resources has a 52-week low of $30.56 and a 52-week high of $42.23.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.10. The firm 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%. Franklin Resources’s revenue for the quarter was down 18.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.82 EPS.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BEN. Compass Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in Franklin Resources by 11.4% in the second quarter. Compass Capital Management Inc. now owns 524,118 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $17,490,000 after buying an additional 53,486 shares during the last quarter. First Manhattan Co. increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 1.1% in the second quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 1,322,714 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $44,138,000 after buying an additional 14,745 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 3.5% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,773,479 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $69,255,000 after buying an additional 60,608 shares during the period. Robecosam AG increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 5.9% in the first quarter. Robecosam AG now owns 10,600 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $415,000 after buying an additional 586 shares during the period. Finally, Williams Jones & Associates LLC acquired a new position in shares of Franklin Resources during the first quarter worth $220,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 48.39% of the company’s stock.

In related news, insider Jennifer M. Johnson sold 15,892 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.99, for a total transaction of $571,953.08. Following the sale, the insider now 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 accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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. Corporate insiders own 20.41% of the company’s stock.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Investors of record on Friday, September 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 28th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.07%. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is presently 26.57%.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BEN

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