Level Four Advisory Services LLC Trims Position in Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN)

Level Four Advisory Services LLC reduced its stake in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 57.4% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 11,077 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 14,931 shares during the quarter. Level Four Advisory Services LLC’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $459,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of BEN. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources by 1,550.0% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,119,419 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $889,973,000 after buying an additional 19,839,472 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 70.2% during the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 1,689,754 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $75,684,000 after purchasing an additional 696,730 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in Franklin Resources by 92.8% during the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,412,702 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $63,289,000 after buying an additional 680,059 shares in the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership increased its position in Franklin Resources by 1,908.2% during the second quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 492,000 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $22,037,000 after buying an additional 467,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC increased its position in Franklin Resources by 64.7% during the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,058,071 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $44,587,000 after buying an additional 415,733 shares in the last quarter. 44.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price target (down previously from $50.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Friday. Citigroup Inc. lowered their price target on Franklin Resources from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Friday. UBS AG restated a “neutral” rating and set a $45.00 price objective (down previously from $46.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Franklin Resources from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Franklin Resources currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $44.27.

Shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) traded down 1.55% during trading on Friday, reaching $43.27. The company had a trading volume of 568,398 shares. The company has a market cap of $24.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.08 and a beta of 1.72. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $43.72 and a 200-day moving average of $43.52. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 12-month low of $33.02 and a 12-month high of $47.65.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $1.62 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.64 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 27.30% and a return on equity of 13.96%. Franklin Resources’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.82 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post $2.96 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 29th were given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.82%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 28th. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 26.14%.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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