Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC Buys 6,210 Shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN)

Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 71.2% in the 3rd quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 14,931 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after acquiring an additional 6,210 shares during the quarter. Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $444,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Moors & Cabot Inc. bought a new position in Franklin Resources in the 3rd quarter worth about $338,000. Systematic Alpha Investments LLC bought a new position in Franklin Resources in the 3rd quarter worth about $38,000. Tobam bought a new position in Franklin Resources in the 2nd quarter worth about $40,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 20.8% during the 3rd quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 1,898 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $56,000 after acquiring an additional 327 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Clearview Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 46.0% during the 3rd quarter. Clearview Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,389 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $71,000 after acquiring an additional 753 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.65% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:BEN opened at $35.27 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 1.72 and a quick ratio of 1.72. The business has a 50 day moving average of $34.08 and a 200 day moving average of $32.26. The company has a market capitalization of $17.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.88, a PEG ratio of 0.87 and a beta of 1.17. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 1-year low of $24.91 and a 1-year high of $38.27.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Sunday, October 31st. The closed-end fund reported $1.26 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.40. The business had revenue of $2.18 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.16 billion. Franklin Resources had a return on equity of 16.53% and a net margin of 21.73%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 27.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.56 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 3.57 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 31st were paid a $0.29 dividend. This is a boost from Franklin Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.29%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 30th. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 32.49%.

In other Franklin Resources news, EVP Jed A. Plafker sold 21,705 shares of Franklin Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.86, for a total value of $778,341.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CAO Gwen L. Shaneyfelt sold 10,000 shares of Franklin Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.82, for a total value of $358,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 23.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on BEN. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded Franklin Resources from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $35.00 to $45.00 in a research report on Tuesday, November 2nd. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Franklin Resources from $26.00 to $30.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 3rd. Bank of America started coverage on Franklin Resources in a research report on Thursday, December 16th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $38.00 price target for the company. Citigroup upgraded Franklin Resources from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $32.50 to $43.00 in a research report on Tuesday, November 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets downgraded Franklin Resources from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $38.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Thursday, December 16th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Franklin Resources presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $34.75.

About Franklin Resources

Franklin Resources, Inc is a holding company, which engages in the provision of investment management and related services. The firm offers services and products under various distinct brand names, including, but not limited to, Franklin, Templeton, Legg Mason, Benefit Street Partners, Brandywine Global Investment Management, Clarion Partners, ClearBridge Investments, Fiduciary Trust International, Franklin Bissett, Franklin Mutual Series, K2, LibertyShares, Martin Currie, Royce Investment Partners and Western Asset Management Company.

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

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