Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday. They currently have $50.00 price target on the closed-end fund’s stock.
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.”
Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Barclays PLC began coverage on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Friday, September 8th. They set an underweight rating and a $40.00 price objective for the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a hold rating and issued a $44.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Sunday, September 3rd. BidaskClub cut Franklin Resources from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. UBS AG reissued a neutral rating and issued a $45.00 target price (down from $46.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company downgraded Franklin Resources from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $50.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, July 24th. Four research 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’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $44.09.
Franklin Resources (BEN) traded down 0.09% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $44.73. The company had a trading volume of 476,372 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.56 and a beta of 1.72. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $42.73 and a 200 day moving average price of $43.18. Franklin Resources has a 12-month low of $33.02 and a 12-month high of $47.65.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.73. The business had revenue of $1.61 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.62 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 27.30% and a return on equity of 13.96%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.77 EPS. Analysts expect that Franklin Resources will post $2.95 EPS for the current year.
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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Investors of record on Friday, September 29th will be paid a $0.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 28th. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.79%. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 26.14%.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources by 16.1% during the 2nd quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,685 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 372 shares in the last quarter. Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc purchased a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources in the 2nd quarter worth about $123,000. First Midwest Bank Trust Division purchased a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources in the 2nd quarter worth about $204,000. NBT Bank N A NY purchased a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources in the 2nd quarter worth about $206,000. Finally, Global X Management Co. LLC grew its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 7.9% in the 1st quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 4,589 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $193,000 after buying an additional 337 shares during the period. 44.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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