Barclays reaffirmed their sell rating on shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. Barclays currently has a $23.00 price objective on the closed-end fund’s stock.

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on BEN. Deutsche Bank dropped their price target on shares of Franklin Resources from $30.00 to $29.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 16th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Franklin Resources from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 26th. Evercore ISI downgraded shares of Franklin Resources from an in-line rating to an underperform rating and set a $30.19 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday. Jefferies Financial Group restated a hold rating and issued a $30.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on shares of Franklin Resources from $28.00 to $26.00 and set an underperform rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 26th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have assigned a hold rating to the company. Franklin Resources presently has an average rating of Sell and a consensus target price of $31.43.

NYSE:BEN traded down $0.14 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $30.33. 3,481,831 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,175,579. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 3.71 and a quick ratio of 3.71. Franklin Resources has a fifty-two week low of $27.34 and a fifty-two week high of $45.96. The company has a market cap of $15.53 billion, a PE ratio of 9.51, a P/E/G ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 1.26.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.39. The firm had revenue of $1.53 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.55 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 12.10% and a return on equity of 16.26%. Equities research analysts expect that Franklin Resources will post 2.75 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 31st will be paid a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 28th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.43%. This is a positive change from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is currently 32.60%.

In other Franklin Resources news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 10,216 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.26, for a total transaction of $350,000.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Vice Chairman Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. sold 323,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.42, for a total transaction of $10,471,660.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 103,653,045 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,360,431,718.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. bought a new stake in Franklin Resources during the 2nd quarter valued at $4,272,000. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec boosted its holdings in Franklin Resources by 24.5% during the 2nd quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 17,808 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $571,000 after acquiring an additional 3,500 shares during the last quarter. Saratoga Research & Investment Management purchased a new position in Franklin Resources during the 3rd quarter worth $269,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its holdings in Franklin Resources by 15.2% during the 3rd quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 192,684 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $5,860,000 after acquiring an additional 25,468 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its holdings in Franklin Resources by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 1,120,347 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $34,070,000 after acquiring an additional 23,397 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 47.90% of the company’s stock.

Franklin Resources Company Profile

Franklin Resources, Inc is a publicly owned asset management holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the firm provides its services to individuals, institutions, pension plans, trusts, and partnerships. It launches equity, fixed income, balanced, and multi-asset mutual funds through its subsidiaries.

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Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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