HighPoint Advisor Group LLC cut its position in shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 8.0% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 10,828 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 938 shares during the period. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $470,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Franklin Resources during the fourth quarter worth approximately $93,377,000. Equity Investment Corp Acquisition Inc purchased a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources during the fourth quarter worth $58,158,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources during the fourth quarter worth $38,507,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources during the fourth quarter worth $36,586,000. Finally, Asset Management One Co. Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 2,456.9% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 961,321 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $38,041,000 after buying an additional 923,724 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 48.31% of the company’s stock.
Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) opened at 42.14 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $42.33 and its 200 day moving average price is $39.02. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 52-week low of $30.56 and a 52-week high of $44.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $23.82 billion, a PE ratio of 14.20 and a beta of 1.78.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its earnings results on Friday, January 27th. The closed-end fund reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $1.56 billion for the quarter. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.88% and a net margin of 26.77%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 11.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.74 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post $2.69 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 13th. Investors of record on Friday, March 31st will be given a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.90%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 29th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 26.94%.
A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on BEN shares. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Sunday, February 5th. Morgan Stanley cut Franklin Resources from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $38.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Thursday, March 16th. Deutsche Bank AG cut Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 31st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Thursday, January 12th. Finally, Citigroup Inc lifted their price objective on Franklin Resources from $40.00 to $40.50 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 25th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $38.98.
In related news, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.18, for a total value of $1,079,500.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 2,162,863 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $93,392,424.34. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Jennifer M. Johnson sold 16,835 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.90, for a total value of $739,056.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 1,521,037 shares in the company, valued at $66,773,524.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 21.60% of the company’s stock.
About Franklin Resources
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.
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