KBC Group NV raised its position in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN – Get Rating) by 4.3% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 149,618 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,125 shares during the period. KBC Group NV’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $4,177,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of BEN. National Bank of Canada FI acquired a new stake in Franklin Resources in the fourth quarter valued at $30,000. Allspring Global Investments Holdings LLC acquired a new stake in Franklin Resources in the fourth quarter valued at $2,181,000. Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund grew its holdings in Franklin Resources by 23.8% in the fourth quarter. Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund now owns 23,658 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $792,000 after purchasing an additional 4,544 shares during the last quarter. Xponance Inc. lifted its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 35.9% in the fourth quarter. Xponance Inc. now owns 19,582 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $656,000 after acquiring an additional 5,178 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 291,503 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $9,762,000 after acquiring an additional 8,161 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.50% of the company’s stock.
In related news, insider Franklin Resources Inc bought 1,968,504 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average price of $12.70 per share, for a total transaction of $25,000,000.80. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now owns 3,938,559 shares in the company, valued at $50,019,699.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In other Franklin Resources news, Director Mariann H. Byerwalter sold 3,135 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.37, for a total transaction of $73,264.95. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 11,523 shares in the company, valued at approximately $269,292.51. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Franklin Resources Inc acquired 1,968,504 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $12.70 per share, with a total value of $25,000,000.80. Following the purchase, the insider now owns 3,938,559 shares in the company, valued at $50,019,699.30. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders purchased 3,063,002 shares of company stock worth $29,868,748. 23.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Franklin Resources Stock Performance
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN – Get Rating) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.73 by $0.09. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 17.37% and a net margin of 20.25%. The business had revenue of $2.03 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.75 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.96 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 3.59 earnings per share for the current year.
Franklin Resources Announces Dividend
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 30th were paid a $0.29 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 29th. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.20%. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 34.52%.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
Several analysts have recently issued reports on BEN shares. BMO Capital Markets reduced their price objective on Franklin Resources from $29.00 to $27.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Citigroup downgraded Franklin Resources from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $44.50 to $28.00 in a research report on Tuesday, April 12th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Franklin Resources from $27.00 to $21.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 30th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft reduced their price objective on Franklin Resources from $28.00 to $25.00 in a research report on Thursday, May 19th. Finally, The Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on Franklin Resources in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. They set a “sell” rating and a $23.00 target price on the stock. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and six have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $26.38.
About Franklin Resources
Franklin Resources, Inc is a publicly owned asset management holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the firm provides its services to individuals, institutions, pension plans, trusts, and partnerships. It launches equity, fixed income, balanced, and multi-asset mutual funds through its subsidiaries.
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