The Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

The Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

According to Zacks, “Franklin Resources’ shares underperformed the industry over the past one year. The company’s third-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Lower revenues and elevated operating expenses were recorded. Net outflows were also an undermining factor. However, growth in assets under management (AUM) was witnessed. We remain optimistic as strategic acquisitions and solid distribution platform have well positioned the company for growth. Further, management expects expenses in fiscal 2017 to remain flat or decline slightly considering the impact of previous cost-cutting initiatives. Though volatile markets and unfavorable global economic conditions may affect its performance and hurt profitability, the company's involvement in steady capital deployment activities boosts shareholders’ confidence.”

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

BEN has been the topic of a number of other reports. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price objective on Franklin Resources from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price objective on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. BidaskClub upgraded Franklin Resources from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. UBS AG restated a “neutral” rating and set a $45.00 price target (down from $46.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Monday. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated an “underweight” rating and set a $40.00 price target (up from $39.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $43.45.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) traded down 2.17% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $43.75. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,224,951 shares. The firm has a market cap of $24.40 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.24 and a beta of 1.73. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $45.30 and a 200 day moving average of $42.79. Franklin Resources has a 12 month low of $33.02 and a 12 month high of $47.65.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.73. The firm had revenue of $1.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.62 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 14.04% and a net margin of 27.30%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.77 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Franklin Resources will post $2.93 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CFO Kenneth A. Lewis sold 17,141 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.51, for a total value of $762,945.91. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 124,021 shares in the company, valued at $5,520,174.71. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 21.60% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Donald L. Hagan LLC boosted its position in Franklin Resources by 45.6% in the first quarter. Donald L. Hagan LLC now owns 27,017 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,138,000 after buying an additional 8,455 shares in the last quarter. CWM LLC boosted its position in Franklin Resources by 23.8% in the first quarter. CWM LLC now owns 505,838 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $21,316,000 after buying an additional 97,250 shares in the last quarter. Alpha Windward LLC boosted its position in Franklin Resources by 1.0% in the first quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 5,921 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $250,000 after buying an additional 57 shares in the last quarter. National Pension Service boosted its position in Franklin Resources by 0.7% in the first quarter. National Pension Service now owns 326,001 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $13,764,000 after buying an additional 2,255 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gulf International Bank UK Ltd boosted its position in Franklin Resources by 1.3% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 119,694 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $5,043,000 after buying an additional 1,550 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 45.47% of the company’s stock.

Franklin Resources Company 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.

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