Citigroup Downgrades Franklin Resources (BEN) to Sell

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Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) was downgraded by research analysts at Citigroup from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Monday, The Fly reports.

BEN has been the topic of a number of other reports. Deutsche Bank boosted their price target on Franklin Resources from $31.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 27th. Morgan Stanley set a $29.00 price target on Franklin Resources and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 14th. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $30.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Wednesday, January 9th. Zacks Investment Research raised Franklin Resources from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 5th. Finally, UBS Group dropped their price target on Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $33.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 8th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. Franklin Resources presently has a consensus rating of “Sell” and an average target price of $29.84.

Franklin Resources stock traded up $0.08 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $30.41. 58,944 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,176,712. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 3.71 and a current ratio of 3.71. The stock has a market cap of $15.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.57, a PEG ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 1.26. Franklin Resources has a one year low of $27.34 and a one year high of $45.96.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.74 by $0.39. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 16.26% and a net margin of 12.10%. The firm had revenue of $1.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.55 billion. On average, analysts predict that Franklin Resources will post 2.75 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Vice Chairman Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. sold 323,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.42, for a total value of $10,471,660.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 103,653,045 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,360,431,718.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 10,216 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.26, for a total transaction of $350,000.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 22.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in BEN. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC purchased a new position in Franklin Resources in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $100,000. Focused Wealth Management Inc purchased a new position in Franklin Resources in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $131,000. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC raised its holdings in Franklin Resources by 196.4% in the 3rd quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 4,301 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $131,000 after acquiring an additional 2,850 shares during the last quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA purchased a new position in Franklin Resources in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $192,000. Finally, Smith Shellnut Wilson LLC ADV purchased a new position in Franklin Resources in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $204,000. Institutional investors own 47.90% of the company’s stock.

Franklin Resources Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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