Morgan Stanley Purchases 393,627 Shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN)

Morgan Stanley lifted its position in shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 45.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 1,258,971 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after purchasing an additional 393,627 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $21,012,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in BEN. State Street Corp grew its position in Franklin Resources by 12.9% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 27,642,060 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $468,703,000 after purchasing an additional 3,163,122 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 4.2% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 24,733,675 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $412,804,000 after buying an additional 995,802 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in shares of Franklin Resources by 24.2% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,635,940 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $120,442,000 after acquiring an additional 902,350 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 5.2% during the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 4,568,113 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $76,097,000 after acquiring an additional 227,013 shares during the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its holdings in Franklin Resources by 83.4% during the first quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 4,097,127 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $120,923,000 after acquiring an additional 1,863,030 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 48.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on BEN shares. Barclays restated a “sell” rating and issued a $15.00 price objective on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Thursday, April 16th. Deutsche Bank reduced their price target on shares of Franklin Resources from $19.00 to $18.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, May 15th. Bank of America decreased their price objective on shares of Franklin Resources from $20.00 to $16.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, March 23rd. UBS Group dropped their target price on shares of Franklin Resources from $27.00 to $16.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 7th. Finally, Cfra decreased their price target on shares of Franklin Resources from $29.00 to $20.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, May 1st. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $23.43.

Franklin Resources stock opened at $20.44 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $20.29 and a 200 day simple moving average of $21.49. The company has a current ratio of 3.90, a quick ratio of 3.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 1-year low of $14.91 and a 1-year high of $35.77. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.80 and a beta of 1.26.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 30th. The closed-end fund reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.22. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 12.36% and a net margin of 17.29%. The company had revenue of $1.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.32 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.72 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.57 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 27th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.27 per share. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.28%. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is presently 42.86%.

Franklin Resources 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN)

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