Wedge Capital Management L L P NC grew its stake in shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 18.3% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 1,143,283 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after acquiring an additional 177,083 shares during the period. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC owned about 0.23% of Franklin Resources worth $29,702,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in BEN. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 15.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 37,527,041 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $1,305,941,000 after buying an additional 4,944,487 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources by 123.3% during the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 4,035,455 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $116,463,000 after acquiring an additional 2,228,215 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $47,279,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 17,619.0% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 1,360,466 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $47,344,000 after acquiring an additional 1,352,788 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada boosted its stake in Franklin Resources by 148.5% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 1,129,235 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $39,299,000 after purchasing an additional 674,759 shares during the period. 48.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on BEN shares. Wells Fargo & Co cut shares of Franklin Resources from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $25.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, January 2nd. BMO Capital Markets began coverage on Franklin Resources in a research report on Monday, October 7th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $16.00 target price for the company. Barclays reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $24.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Wednesday, October 9th. Standpoint Research initiated coverage on Franklin Resources in a research report on Monday, December 23rd. They set an “accumulate” rating on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on Franklin Resources from $31.00 to $28.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $28.64.

In other Franklin Resources news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.57, for a total value of $137,850.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 113,793 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,137,273.01. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.

BEN stock opened at $25.12 on Thursday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $26.12 and a two-hundred day moving average of $28.69. The company has a market cap of $12.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.97, a PEG ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 1.20. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 12-month low of $24.73 and a 12-month high of $35.82. The company has a quick ratio of 2.96, a current ratio of 2.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.03). Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 12.28% and a net margin of 20.71%. The company had revenue of $1.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.46 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.96 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.6 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 10th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 31st were paid a $0.27 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 30th. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.30%. This is an increase from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 42.86%.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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