Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) Reaches New 52-Week High After Analyst Upgrade

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Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN)’s share price reached a new 52-week high during trading on Monday after Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised their price target on the stock from $26.00 to $29.00. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft currently has a hold rating on the stock. Franklin Resources traded as high as $30.93 and last traded at $30.85, with a volume of 9561 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $30.68.

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 29th. The Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of Franklin Resources from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $24.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, January 5th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their target price on shares of Franklin Resources from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 3rd. BMO Capital Markets upgraded Franklin Resources from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price target for the company from $22.00 to $36.00 in a research note on Monday, March 29th. Finally, TheStreet raised Franklin Resources from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 2nd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $24.83.

In other news, EVP Jed A. Plafker sold 20,782 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.67, for a total value of $595,819.94. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CAO Gwen L. Shaneyfelt sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.32, for a total transaction of $151,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 68,749 shares in the company, valued at $2,084,469.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 75,672 shares of company stock worth $2,104,440 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 23.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of BEN. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board acquired a new position in Franklin Resources in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,073,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new position in Franklin Resources during the fourth quarter worth $410,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in Franklin Resources by 35.2% during the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 947,689 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $23,682,000 after acquiring an additional 246,861 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. grew its holdings in Franklin Resources by 14.5% in the fourth quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 67,368 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $1,684,000 after purchasing an additional 8,514 shares during the period. Finally, Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV raised its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV now owns 33,220 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $830,000 after purchasing an additional 578 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 45.74% of the company’s stock.

The company has a market capitalization of $14.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.51, a P/E/G ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $28.77 and a 200 day moving average price of $24.97. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 1.60 and a current ratio of 1.60.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 1st. The closed-end fund reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.01. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 12.15% and a net margin of 14.15%. The firm had revenue of $2 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.96 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.67 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 43.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts forecast that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 3.01 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.28 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, March 30th. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.78%. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 42.91%.

About Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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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