Millennium Management LLC grew its position in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 1,139.5% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 299,462 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after purchasing an additional 275,303 shares during the quarter. Millennium Management LLC owned approximately 0.06% of Franklin Resources worth $8,882,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Franklin Resources by 17.1% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,666,942 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $993,402,000 after acquiring an additional 4,764,162 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 17.1% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 32,666,942 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $993,402,000 after purchasing an additional 4,764,162 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 2.9% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 23,139,023 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $686,304,000 after purchasing an additional 646,242 shares during the last quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 4.8% during the 4th quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 9,396,639 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $278,704,000 after purchasing an additional 434,347 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kiltearn Partners LLP increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 4.6% in the 4th quarter. Kiltearn Partners LLP now owns 8,460,294 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $250,932,000 after acquiring an additional 370,500 shares during the last quarter. 49.53% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of BEN opened at $34.26 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 3.93 and a quick ratio of 3.93. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 52-week low of $27.34 and a 52-week high of $35.26. The company has a market capitalization of $17.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 1.18.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.10). Franklin Resources had a net margin of 26.55% and a return on equity of 15.01%. The business had revenue of $1.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.44 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.88 earnings per share. Franklin Resources’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.39 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 12th. Investors of record on Friday, March 29th will be given a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 28th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.04%. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.60%.

In related news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 10,663 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.82, for a total value of $349,959.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 23.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on BEN. Zacks Investment Research raised Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $38.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. Citigroup upped their price target on Franklin Resources from $25.00 to $28.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 14th. ValuEngine raised Franklin Resources from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, March 1st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $33.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Tuesday, February 26th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $30.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $29.85.

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Franklin Resources Profile

Franklin Resources, Inc offers banking products and services. It offers demand deposits and interest and non-interest bearing time and savings deposits. The bank's deposits include jumbo deposits and retail time deposits. The bank provides commercial and industrial loans, consumer loans, commercial real estate loans, and other loans and leases.

Further Reading: Quiet Period

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

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