Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was upgraded by research analysts at Bank of America Corp. from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on BEN. Jefferies Group restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price objective on Franklin Resources from $36.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Credit Suisse Group AG restated an “underperform” rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Thursday, November 3rd. Barclays PLC reduced their price objective 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. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price objective on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $37.81.

Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) opened at 37.85 on Wednesday. Franklin Resources has a 1-year low of $30.56 and a 1-year high of $42.23. The stock has a market capitalization of $21.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.87 and a beta of 1.76. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $34.97 and its 200 day moving average is $35.29.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.82 earnings per share 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 firm had revenue of $1.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.63 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 14.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.59 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post $2.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 14th. Investors of record on Friday, September 30th were issued a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 28th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.49%.

In other news, 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 transaction of $180,900.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jennifer M. Johnson sold 15,892 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.99, for a total value of $571,953.08. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 1,473,782 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $53,041,414.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 20.41% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Acadian Asset Management LLC raised its position in Franklin Resources by 1,520.5% in the second quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 3,160 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 2,965 shares during the period. FTB Advisors Inc. raised its position in 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 period. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its position in Franklin Resources by 21.1% in the second quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 3,347 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $112,000 after buying an additional 583 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its position in Franklin Resources by 426.3% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 5,352 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $179,000 after buying an additional 4,335 shares during the period. Finally, Alpha Windward LLC raised its position in Franklin Resources by 24.5% in the second quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 5,438 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $181,000 after buying an additional 1,071 shares during the period. 48.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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