Wetherby Asset Management Inc. lessened its holdings in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 24.4% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 8,767 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 2,832 shares during the quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $379,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
A number of other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in BEN. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new position in Franklin Resources in the 4th quarter valued at $125,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. bought a new position in Franklin Resources in the 3rd quarter valued at $127,000. Buckley Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Franklin Resources in the 4th quarter valued at $202,000. Chicago Equity Partners LLC bought a new position in Franklin Resources in the 3rd quarter valued at $209,000. Finally, Highbridge Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources in the 3rd quarter worth $210,000. 45.36% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) opened at $38.86 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09, a quick ratio of 4.28 and a current ratio of 4.28. The firm has a market capitalization of $21,571.61, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.21, a P/E/G ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 1.63. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 12 month low of $37.01 and a 12 month high of $47.65.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.75 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $1.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.62 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.88% and a net margin of 10.44%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.77 EPS. analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 3.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a special dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 12th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 29th will be paid a dividend of $3.00 per share. This is a boost from Franklin Resources’s previous special dividend of $0.50. This represents a dividend yield of 2.35%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is 78.63%.
Several equities research analysts have weighed in on BEN shares. Wells Fargo & Co lowered their target price on Franklin Resources from $50.00 to $48.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 27th. Citigroup lowered their target price on Franklin Resources from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 27th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a report on Thursday, January 11th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Franklin Resources from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $44.45.
In related news, Vice Chairman Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. sold 400,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.95, for a total transaction of $17,180,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Jed A. Plafker sold 7,790 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.92, for a total value of $342,136.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 457,778 shares of company stock valued at $19,700,614 over the last 90 days. 22.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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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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