Franklin Resources (BEN) Shares Gap Down to $30.47

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN)’s share price gapped down prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $31.09, but opened at $30.47. Franklin Resources shares last traded at $30.33, with a volume of 3490972 shares changing hands.

Several equities analysts recently commented on the company. Bank of America downgraded Franklin Resources from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Friday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Franklin Resources from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. ValuEngine upgraded Franklin Resources from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 20th. Deutsche Bank dropped their price objective on Franklin Resources from $30.00 to $29.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on Franklin Resources from $28.00 to $26.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 26th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Sell” and an average price target of $31.43.

The stock has a market capitalization of $15.53 billion, a PE ratio of 9.51, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 1.26. The company has a quick ratio of 3.71, a current ratio of 3.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its quarterly earnings data 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. 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 the consensus estimate of $1.55 billion. As a group, analysts forecast that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 11th. Investors of record on Monday, December 31st will be given a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.43%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 28th. This is an increase from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.60%.

In related news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 10,216 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.26, for a total value of $350,000.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Vice Chairman Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. sold 323,000 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 103,653,045 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,360,431,718.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 13.3% in the fourth quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 18,800 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $571,000 after acquiring an additional 2,200 shares during the last quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 11.3% in the third quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC now owns 1,166,904 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $35,486,000 after acquiring an additional 118,312 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 17.1% in the third 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 during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 239.9% in the third quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 19,749 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $601,000 after acquiring an additional 13,939 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Franklin Resources by 17.1% in the third 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 during the last quarter. 47.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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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