Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC Has $10.09 Million Position in Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN)

Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 226,671 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,537 shares during the quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $10,089,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in BEN. IFP Advisors Inc increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 16.1% during the 2nd quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,685 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $120,000 after acquiring an additional 372 shares during the last quarter. Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc acquired a new position in shares of Franklin Resources during the 2nd quarter valued at about $123,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Franklin Resources during the 3rd quarter valued at about $127,000. NBT Bank N A NY acquired a new position in shares of Franklin Resources during the 2nd quarter valued at about $206,000. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC acquired a new position in shares of Franklin Resources during the 2nd quarter valued at about $208,000. 44.77% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on BEN shares. ValuEngine raised shares of Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Wells Fargo & Company decreased their target price on Franklin Resources from $50.00 to $48.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, UBS boosted their target price on Franklin Resources from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Franklin Resources currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $44.45.

In other Franklin Resources news, Vice Chairman Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. sold 400,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.95, for a total value of $17,180,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Gregory E. Johnson sold 56,825 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.83, for a total value of $2,433,814.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 2,047,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $87,684,702.59. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 21.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE BEN) opened at $44.15 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 8.75, a quick ratio of 8.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $38.93 and a fifty-two week high of $47.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $24,427.34, a PE ratio of 14.70, a PEG ratio of 2.42 and a beta of 1.75.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.04. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 13.48% and a net margin of 26.54%. The business had revenue of $1.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.64 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.82 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 2.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 26th will be issued a $0.23 dividend. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.08%. This is a boost from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.67%.

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

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