Franklin Resources Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:BEN)

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Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors purchased 3,061 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,591% compared to the typical daily volume of 181 call options.

NYSE BEN traded up $0.21 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $28.18. The stock had a trading volume of 837,721 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,645,246. Franklin Resources has a twelve month low of $25.57 and a twelve month high of $35.82. The company has a market capitalization of $14.24 billion, a PE ratio of 11.18, a PEG ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 1.23. The company has a quick ratio of 3.35, a current ratio of 3.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $27.86 and a 200 day moving average price of $31.05.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.03). Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 12.35% and a net margin of 20.71%. The company had revenue of $1.45 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.46 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.96 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources will post 2.6 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.01, for a total value of $130,050.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,009 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,601,234.09. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 23.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 232.6% during the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 725 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $25,000 after buying an additional 507 shares in the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Franklin Resources by 5,760.0% in the second quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 879 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $31,000 after purchasing an additional 864 shares in the last quarter. Smith Asset Management Group LP acquired a new position in Franklin Resources in the second quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Liberty Wealth Management LLC boosted its holdings in Franklin Resources by 3,680.0% in the second quarter. Liberty Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,134 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $39,000 after purchasing an additional 1,104 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TRUE Private Wealth Advisors acquired a new position in Franklin Resources in the second quarter valued at approximately $43,000. 49.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

BEN has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on shares of Franklin Resources from $31.00 to $28.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 8th. Barclays reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $24.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Wednesday, October 9th. ValuEngine raised Franklin Resources from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Franklin Resources from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $32.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets started coverage on Franklin Resources in a research report on Monday, October 7th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $16.00 target price for the company. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Franklin Resources currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $29.35.

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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