Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was downgraded by stock analysts at Deutsche Bank AG from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

A number of other research firms also recently commented on BEN. Barclays PLC lifted their target price on Franklin Resources from $30.00 to $31.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 4th. Citigroup Inc. cut their price objective on Franklin Resources from $40.00 to $39.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 20th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods boosted their price objective on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Franklin Resources presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $37.81.

Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

Shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) opened at 38.49 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $21.95 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.09 and a beta of 1.76. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $34.91 and a 200 day moving average price of $35.27. Franklin Resources has a one year low of $30.56 and a one year high of $42.23.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.13. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.93% and a net margin of 26.09%. The company had revenue of $1.61 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.63 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.59 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 14.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Franklin Resources will post $2.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 14th. Investors of record on Friday, September 30th were given a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 28th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.87%. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 24.49%.

In related news, 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Vice Chairman Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. sold 300,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.65, for a total value of $10,095,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 104,465,045 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,515,248,764.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 20.41% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in BEN. Williams Jones & Associates LLC bought a new stake in Franklin Resources during the first quarter valued at approximately $220,000. National Pension Service increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 4.4% in the first quarter. National Pension Service now owns 249,813 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $9,755,000 after buying an additional 10,615 shares in the last quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. bought a new stake in Franklin Resources during the first quarter valued at approximately $24,261,000. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in 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 valued at $69,255,000 after buying an additional 60,608 shares in the last quarter. Finally, LPL Financial LLC increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 33.0% in the first quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 32,959 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,267,000 after buying an additional 8,169 shares in the last quarter. 48.24% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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

Receive News & Stock Ratings for Franklin Resources Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Franklin Resources Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.