Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Franklin Resources underperformed the industry over the past six months. However, the company’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. We remain optimistic as strategic acquisitions and solid distribution platform have well positioned the company for growth. Further, management continues with cost-control measures. Also, its involvement in steady capital deployment activities boosts shareholders’ confidence. However, volatile markets and unfavorable global economic conditions may affect the company’s performance and hurt profitability.”
Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Deutsche Bank dropped their target price on shares of Franklin Resources from $40.00 to $37.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.00.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.13. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 10.44% and a return on equity of 13.88%. The firm had revenue of $1.62 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.62 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.77 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Franklin Resources will post 3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Franklin Resources news, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 49,988 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.58, for a total transaction of $2,178,477.04. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 2,116,886 shares in the company, valued at approximately $92,253,891.88. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Jed A. Plafker sold 7,790 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.92, for a total transaction of $342,136.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 12.5% during the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 169,337 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $7,337,000 after purchasing an additional 18,806 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 3.4% during the 4th quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 64,923 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $2,813,000 after purchasing an additional 2,128 shares in the last quarter. We Are One Seven LLC bought a new stake in Franklin Resources during the 4th quarter valued at $113,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Franklin Resources during the 4th quarter valued at $4,381,000. Finally, Gotham Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 15.3% during the 4th quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 84,880 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $3,678,000 after purchasing an additional 11,250 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 46.95% of the company’s stock.
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About Franklin Resources
Franklin Resources, Inc is a holding company. The Company, along with its subsidiaries, operates as Franklin Templeton Investments. It is a global investment management company that provides investment management and related services to retail, institutional and high net-worth clients in jurisdictions around the world.
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