Franklin Resources (BEN) Receives “Sell” Rating from Barclays

Barclays reissued their sell rating on shares of Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) in a report published on Thursday morning. Barclays currently has a $23.00 target price on the closed-end fund’s stock.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on BEN. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Franklin Resources from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, December 5th. ValuEngine raised Franklin Resources from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, November 20th. Deutsche Bank raised their target price on Franklin Resources from $31.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, September 27th. Morgan Stanley set a $29.00 price target on Franklin Resources and gave the stock a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 14th. Finally, UBS Group decreased their target price on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $33.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 8th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have assigned a hold rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Sell and a consensus price target of $31.43.

NYSE BEN traded down $0.14 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $30.33. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,481,831 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,175,579. The company has a market capitalization of $15.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.51, a PEG ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 1.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 3.71 and a current ratio of 3.71. Franklin Resources has a 12 month low of $27.34 and a 12 month high of $45.96.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 31st will be given a dividend of $0.26 per share. This is a boost from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. 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%. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 32.60%.

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

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of BEN. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 17.1% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 32,666,942 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $993,402,000 after purchasing an additional 4,764,162 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 17.1% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,666,942 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $993,402,000 after acquiring an additional 4,764,162 shares in the last quarter. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI acquired a new position in Franklin Resources in the third quarter valued at about $126,946,000. Abrams Capital Management L.P. boosted its position in Franklin Resources by 25.2% in the third quarter. Abrams Capital Management L.P. now owns 9,945,023 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $302,428,000 after buying an additional 2,000,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its position in Franklin Resources by 108.2% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 3,197,116 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $102,468,000 after buying an additional 1,661,189 shares in the last quarter. 47.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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