Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE:BEN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Franklin Resources’ shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized investment management industry year-to-date. We remain optimistic as the company’s strategic acquisitions and strong distribution platform have well positioned the company toward growth. Moreover, the company’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 earnings (ending Sep 2016) beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved year over year as well. Results were primarily driven by reduced expenses, partially offset by lower revenues. The quarter witnessed decline in assets under management (AUM) and recorded net outflows with significant long-term redemptions in global equities and fixed income categories. However, the company’s muted growth in AUM is likely to put a pressure on investment management fees. Also, volatile markets and unfavorable global economic conditions may further affect the company’s performance.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on shares of Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $35.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, September 9th. Jefferies Group lifted their price target on shares of Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $36.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 11th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lifted their price target on shares of Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Citigroup Inc. lifted their price target on shares of Franklin Resources from $36.00 to $40.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. raised shares of Franklin Resources from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 9th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $37.81.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) opened at 39.32 on Friday. Franklin Resources has a 52-week low of $30.56 and a 52-week high of $42.23. The company has a 50 day moving average of $35.90 and a 200-day moving average of $35.36. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.38 and a beta of 1.76.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.13. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 26.09% and a return on equity of 13.89%. The firm earned $1.61 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.63 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.59 earnings per share. Franklin Resources’s revenue was down 14.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post $2.68 EPS for the current year.

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In other Franklin Resources news, 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 approximately $3,515,248,764.25. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 20.41% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. HBK Sorce Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in Franklin Resources during the third quarter worth approximately $103,000. Virtus Investment Advisers Inc. purchased a new stake in Franklin Resources during the third quarter worth approximately $104,000. Acadian Asset Management LLC raised its stake 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 worth $105,000 after buying an additional 2,965 shares in the last quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. raised its stake 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 worth $107,000 after buying an additional 248 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp raised its stake 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 worth $112,000 after buying an additional 583 shares in the last quarter. 46.99% of the stock is owned by 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

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