Kwmg LLC purchased a new stake in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) during the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm purchased 68,547 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock, valued at approximately $2,272,000.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in BEN. Alpha Omega Wealth Management LLC boosted its holdings in Franklin Resources by 120.8% during the fourth quarter. Alpha Omega Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,325 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $39,000 after buying an additional 725 shares in the last quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Franklin Resources during the first quarter worth approximately $39,000. Clean Yield Group bought a new stake in Franklin Resources during the fourth quarter worth approximately $44,000. CWM LLC boosted its holdings in Franklin Resources by 22.5% during the fourth quarter. CWM LLC now owns 1,772 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $53,000 after buying an additional 325 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Investors Research Corp bought a new stake in Franklin Resources during the first quarter worth approximately $56,000. Institutional investors own 49.52% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:BEN traded up $0.41 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $35.45. The stock had a trading volume of 2,005,460 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,795,906. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 3.93 and a current ratio of 3.93. The company has a market cap of $17.98 billion, a PE ratio of 11.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.18. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 12-month low of $27.34 and a 12-month high of $35.82.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.54 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.10). The firm had revenue of $1.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.44 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 26.55% and a return on equity of 15.01%. The firm’s revenue was down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.88 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.48 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 29th were given a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 28th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.93%. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 32.60%.

In other Franklin Resources news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 10,663 shares of Franklin Resources stock in a transaction on Friday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.82, for a total transaction of $349,959.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on BEN shares. Citigroup cut shares of Franklin Resources from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, January 14th. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $30.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Wednesday, January 9th. Bank of America set a $32.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Franklin Resources from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Finally, Evercore ISI downgraded shares of Franklin Resources from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $30.19 price target for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $30.55.

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About Franklin Resources

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: Are sell-side analysts objective?

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding BEN? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN).

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

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