Fenimore Asset Management Inc. reduced its holdings in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 2.4% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 387,419 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 9,397 shares during the period. Fenimore Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $11,491,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of BEN. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Franklin Resources by 17.1% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,666,942 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $993,402,000 after acquiring an additional 4,764,162 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc grew its stake in Franklin Resources by 17.1% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 32,666,942 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $993,402,000 after acquiring an additional 4,764,162 shares during the period. Abrams Capital Management L.P. grew its stake in Franklin Resources by 25.2% in the third quarter. Abrams Capital Management L.P. now owns 9,945,023 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $302,428,000 after acquiring an additional 2,000,000 shares during the period. Kiltearn Partners LLP grew its stake in Franklin Resources by 0.6% in the third quarter. Kiltearn Partners LLP now owns 8,089,794 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $246,011,000 after acquiring an additional 50,694 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in Franklin Resources by 27.4% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,340,194 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $131,985,000 after acquiring an additional 932,439 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 47.90% of the company’s stock.
A number of brokerages have commented on BEN. Zacks Investment Research raised Franklin Resources from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 5th. Evercore ISI cut Franklin Resources from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $30.19 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday. Barclays reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $23.00 price objective on shares of Franklin Resources in a research note on Thursday. Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $30.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $28.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Wednesday. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have assigned a hold rating to the stock. Franklin Resources has a consensus rating of “Sell” and a consensus target price of $31.43.
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.39. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 16.26% and a net margin of 12.10%. The business had revenue of $1.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.55 billion. As a group, analysts forecast that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 31st will be given a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 28th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.46%. This is a boost from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is currently 32.60%.
In other Franklin Resources news, Vice Chairman Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. sold 323,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.42, for a total value of $10,471,660.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 103,653,045 shares in the company, valued at $3,360,431,718.90. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 10,216 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.26, for a total value of $350,000.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 22.20% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
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Franklin Resources Company 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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