Wedbush Securities Inc. reduced its stake in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 26.7% in the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 9,327 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 3,406 shares during the period. Wedbush Securities Inc.’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $415,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources by 16.1% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,685 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 372 shares during the period. Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc bought a new position in shares of Franklin Resources in the second quarter worth $123,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. bought a new position in shares of Franklin Resources in the third quarter worth $127,000. First Midwest Bank Trust Division bought a new position in shares of Franklin Resources in the second quarter worth $204,000. Finally, NBT Bank N A NY bought a new position in shares of Franklin Resources in the second quarter worth $206,000. 45.43% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN) opened at $42.79 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 9.20 and a quick ratio of 9.20. The company has a market capitalization of $23,744.17, a P/E ratio of 14.26, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.47 and a beta of 1.75.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.76 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 13.60%. The firm had revenue of $1.62 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.64 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.82 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.92 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 13th. Investors of record on Friday, September 29th were issued a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.87%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 28th. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 26.67%.

Several research firms recently issued reports on BEN. Zacks Investment Research raised Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Wells Fargo & Company dropped their price objective on Franklin Resources from $50.00 to $48.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 27th. UBS AG reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $45.00 price objective (down previously from $46.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Morgan Stanley reissued an “underweight” rating and set a $40.00 price objective (up previously from $39.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.45.

In related news, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 56,825 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.83, for a total value of $2,433,814.75. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 2,047,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $87,684,702.59. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 21.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Franklin Resources Profile

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.

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

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