ProShare Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 4.9% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 1,485,811 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after acquiring an additional 69,254 shares during the quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC owned approximately 0.27% of Franklin Resources worth $66,549,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 5.2% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 26,930,042 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,134,833,000 after acquiring an additional 1,337,903 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 1.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,369,185 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $957,127,000 after acquiring an additional 249,766 shares during the last quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 2.4% in the second quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 10,348,419 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $463,506,000 after acquiring an additional 246,306 shares during the last quarter. Kiltearn Partners LLP increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 0.8% in the second quarter. Kiltearn Partners LLP now owns 6,118,700 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $274,057,000 after acquiring an additional 50,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Franklin Resources by 2.3% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,340,482 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $225,047,000 after acquiring an additional 121,316 shares during the last quarter. 44.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of research firms recently issued reports on BEN. BidaskClub downgraded Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. UBS AG reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $45.00 target price (down previously from $46.00) on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 target price on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Franklin Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, Barclays PLC began coverage on Franklin Resources in a report on Friday, September 8th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $40.00 price target for the company. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.09.

Shares of Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN) traded up 0.78% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $42.48. The stock had a trading volume of 4,613,989 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $42.76 and its 200 day moving average price is $43.09. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 52 week low of $33.02 and a 52 week high of $47.65. The company has a market cap of $23.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.82 and a beta of 1.73.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The closed-end fund reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.73. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 27.30% and a return on equity of 13.96%. The firm had revenue of $1.61 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.62 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.77 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post $2.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 29th will be given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.88%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 28th. Franklin Resources’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.14%.

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In other news, CFO Kenneth A. Lewis sold 17,141 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.51, for a total transaction of $762,945.91. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 124,021 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,520,174.71. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 21.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Franklin Resources 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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