Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, October 3rd. The brokerage currently has a $50.00 target price on the closed-end fund’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 12.01% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Franklin Resources underperformed the industry over the past six months. However, the company has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings 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 expects expenses in fiscal 2017 to remain flat or decline slightly considering the impact of previous cost-cutting initiatives. Though volatile markets and unfavorable global economic conditions may affect its performance and hurt profitability, the company's involvement in steady capital deployment activities boosts shareholders’ confidence.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on BEN. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on shares of Franklin Resources from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. BidaskClub raised shares of Franklin Resources from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. UBS AG restated a “neutral” rating and set a $45.00 price objective (down from $46.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated an “underweight” rating and set a $40.00 price objective (up from $39.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.36.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) traded up 0.459% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $44.845. 102,736 shares of the company were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average is $43.31 and its 200 day moving average is $43.37. Franklin Resources has a 12-month low of $33.02 and a 12-month high of $47.65. The company has a market capitalization of $25.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.593 and a beta of 1.72.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.73. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 27.30% and a return on equity of 13.96%. The firm had revenue of $1.61 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.62 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.77 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Franklin Resources will post $2.96 EPS for the current year.

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Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 2.3% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,531,221 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $64,526,000 after acquiring an additional 34,826 shares during the period. Oxford Asset Management purchased a new stake in Franklin Resources in the first quarter worth about $1,164,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 3.2% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 8,265 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $348,000 after acquiring an additional 255 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 996.3% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 716,720 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $30,203,000 after acquiring an additional 651,346 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 10.8% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 30,119 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $1,269,000 after acquiring an additional 2,941 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.95% of the company’s stock.

Franklin Resources Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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