Welch & Forbes LLC lowered its position in Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) by 14.1% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 20,865 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after selling 3,425 shares during the quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC’s holdings in Franklin Resources were worth $635,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Wesbanco Bank Inc. increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 9.7% in the first quarter. Wesbanco Bank Inc. now owns 17,566 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $609,000 after purchasing an additional 1,554 shares during the period. Dupont Capital Management Corp increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 61.2% during the second quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 4,168 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $134,000 after acquiring an additional 1,582 shares during the period. World Asset Management Inc increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 6.7% during the second quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 26,689 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $855,000 after acquiring an additional 1,672 shares during the period. IFG Advisory LLC increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 9.8% during the second quarter. IFG Advisory LLC now owns 18,830 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $603,000 after acquiring an additional 1,676 shares during the period. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its stake in shares of Franklin Resources by 28.1% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 7,683 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $246,000 after acquiring an additional 1,683 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 46.89% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms recently commented on BEN. Deutsche Bank lowered their price objective on shares of Franklin Resources from $32.00 to $29.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. UBS Group lowered their price objective on shares of Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $33.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 8th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Franklin Resources from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Franklin Resources from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $32.00 to $29.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 6th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on shares of Franklin Resources from $32.00 to $30.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 2nd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $35.75.

In related news, EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 11,165 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.35, for a total transaction of $350,022.75. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Jed A. Plafker sold 4,820 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.85, for a total transaction of $158,337.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 56,369 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,851,721.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:BEN opened at $29.76 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $15.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.49. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 1-year low of $28.12 and a 1-year high of $45.96. The company has a quick ratio of 3.37, a current ratio of 3.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07.

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The closed-end fund reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75. The firm had revenue of $1.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.57 billion. Franklin Resources had a net margin of 10.72% and a return on equity of 15.40%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.73 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Franklin Resources, Inc. will post 3.14 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 12th. Investors of record on Friday, September 28th were issued a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.09%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 27th. Franklin Resources’s payout ratio is 30.56%.

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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