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.”
A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on BEN. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. ValuEngine raised shares of Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank lowered 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 note on Tuesday, March 6th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $44.00.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.75 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $1.62 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.62 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 10.44% and a return on equity of 13.88%. Franklin Resources’s quarterly revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.77 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post 3.26 EPS for the current year.
In other Franklin Resources news, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 49,988 shares of Franklin Resources stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the chairman now directly owns 2,116,886 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $92,253,891.88. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Jed A. Plafker sold 7,790 shares of Franklin Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 21st. The stock was 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. Company insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. We Are One Seven LLC bought a new position in shares of Franklin Resources in the fourth quarter worth approximately $113,000. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new position in shares of Franklin Resources in the fourth quarter worth approximately $125,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources by 150.9% in the fourth quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 4,015 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $174,000 after purchasing an additional 2,415 shares during the last quarter. Buckley Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Franklin Resources in the fourth quarter worth approximately $202,000. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Franklin Resources in the third quarter worth approximately $209,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors 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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