Highbridge Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) in the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor purchased 4,706 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock, valued at approximately $210,000.

Several other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 1.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 27,248,491 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,220,459,000 after purchasing an additional 318,449 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 1.2% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,369,185 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $957,127,000 after purchasing an additional 249,766 shares during the last quarter. Kiltearn Partners LLP lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 0.8% during the second quarter. Kiltearn Partners LLP now owns 6,118,700 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $274,057,000 after purchasing an additional 50,100 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 35.9% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,874,451 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $216,961,000 after purchasing an additional 1,288,818 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Franklin Resources by 3.7% during the third quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,919,555 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $174,459,000 after purchasing an additional 138,472 shares during the last quarter. 44.71% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several research firms recently commented on BEN. ValuEngine raised shares of Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Citigroup cut their target price on shares of Franklin Resources from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, UBS increased their target price on shares of Franklin Resources from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Franklin Resources presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.45.

Shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) opened at $43.69 on Thursday. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 1-year low of $39.23 and a 1-year high of $47.65. The company has a current ratio of 8.75, a quick ratio of 8.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08. The stock has a market cap of $24,194.70, a P/E ratio of 14.56, a PEG ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 1.75.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.04. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 26.54% and a return on equity of 13.48%. The business had revenue of $1.62 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.64 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.82 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 26th will be issued a dividend of $0.23 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 22nd. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.11%. This is a positive change from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is currently 26.67%.

In other Franklin Resources news, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 49,988 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.58, for a total value of $2,178,477.04. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 2,116,886 shares in the company, valued at approximately $92,253,891.88. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Vice Chairman Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. sold 400,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.95, for a total transaction of $17,180,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 506,813 shares of company stock worth $21,792,292 in the last 90 days. 21.60% of the stock is 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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