Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) Downgraded to Underperform at Bank of America

Bank of America lowered shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE:BENGet Rating) from a neutral rating to an underperform rating in a report issued on Thursday morning, MarketBeat.com reports. Bank of America currently has $25.00 target price on the closed-end fund’s stock, down from their previous target price of $28.00.

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on BEN. The Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Franklin Resources in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. They issued a sell rating and a $23.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on Franklin Resources from $27.00 to $21.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a report on Thursday, June 30th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their price target on Franklin Resources from $26.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, August 12th. BMO Capital Markets reduced their price target on Franklin Resources from $29.00 to $27.00 in a report on Wednesday, June 1st. Finally, UBS Group lifted their price target on Franklin Resources from $24.00 to $27.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Monday, August 1st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have assigned a hold rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $25.25.

Franklin Resources Stock Performance

BEN opened at $26.26 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 1.99 and a quick ratio of 1.99. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $26.21 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $26.32. The company has a market capitalization of $13.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.82, a P/E/G ratio of 4.56 and a beta of 1.19. Franklin Resources has a 1 year low of $22.61 and a 1 year high of $38.27.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BENGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.73 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.75 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 17.37% and a net margin of 20.25%. Franklin Resources’s quarterly revenue was down 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.96 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Franklin Resources will post 3.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Franklin Resources Dividend Announcement

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.29 per share. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.42%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 29th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.52%.

Insider Transactions at Franklin Resources

In other news, Director Mariann H. Byerwalter sold 3,135 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.37, for a total transaction of $73,264.95. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 11,523 shares in the company, valued at $269,292.51. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. In related news, CEO Jennifer M. Johnson sold 55,201 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.75, for a total value of $1,587,028.75. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,870,068 shares in the company, valued at $53,764,455. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Mariann H. Byerwalter sold 3,135 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.37, for a total value of $73,264.95. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 11,523 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $269,292.51. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders bought 3,806,049 shares of company stock worth $33,623,107 and sold 77,502 shares worth $2,216,491. Corporate insiders own 23.30% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Franklin Resources

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Capital Analysts LLC boosted its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 31.8% in the second quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 1,447 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $34,000 after buying an additional 349 shares during the period. Beacon Financial Group raised its position in Franklin Resources by 1.5% during the second quarter. Beacon Financial Group now owns 26,674 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $673,000 after purchasing an additional 397 shares in the last quarter. RK Asset Management LLC raised its position in Franklin Resources by 0.3% during the first quarter. RK Asset Management LLC now owns 150,994 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $4,216,000 after purchasing an additional 405 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its position in Franklin Resources by 1.1% during the first quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 37,246 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,065,000 after purchasing an additional 411 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First National Trust Co raised its position in Franklin Resources by 2.2% during the first quarter. First National Trust Co now owns 19,297 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $539,000 after purchasing an additional 417 shares in the last quarter. 45.57% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Franklin Resources

(Get Rating)

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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