Indiana Trust & Investment Management CO Cuts Stake in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN)

Indiana Trust & Investment Management CO reduced its stake in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 32.4% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 12,535 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 6,000 shares during the period. Indiana Trust & Investment Management CO’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $371,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. RK Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Franklin Resources during the first quarter valued at $4,556,000. Park National Corp OH purchased a new position in Franklin Resources in the first quarter worth about $806,000. Childress Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Franklin Resources in the fourth quarter worth about $27,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Franklin Resources by 51.0% in the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,379,086 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $34,459,000 after purchasing an additional 466,055 shares during the last quarter. Finally, B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. Holding AG purchased a new position in Franklin Resources in the fourth quarter worth about $198,000. 45.74% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NYSE BEN traded down $0.30 on Thursday, reaching $30.15. 57,998 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,594,761. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 1.60 and a current ratio of 1.60. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $28.39 and a 200-day moving average price of $24.65. The company has a market cap of $15.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.89, a PEG ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.25. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 12 month low of $14.91 and a 12 month high of $30.73.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its earnings results on Monday, February 1st. The closed-end fund reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $2 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.96 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 12.15% and a net margin of 14.15%. Franklin Resources’s revenue was up 43.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.67 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 3.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 31st will be given a $0.28 dividend. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.71%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, March 30th. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 42.91%.

Several research firms have recently commented on BEN. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective on Franklin Resources from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 3rd. The Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Franklin Resources from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $24.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, January 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, December 29th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Franklin Resources from $22.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upgraded Franklin Resources from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $22.00 to $36.00 in a report on Monday, March 29th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $24.52.

In related news, insider Alok Sethi sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.64, for a total transaction of $276,400.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Jed A. Plafker sold 20,782 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.67, for a total value of $595,819.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 75,672 shares of company stock valued at $2,104,440. Corporate insiders own 23.10% of the company’s stock.

About Franklin Resources

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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