Franklin Resources Inc.
) enhanced its quarterly common stock dividend by 7% to 29 cents
per share. The dividend will be paid on December 31 to
shareholders of record as of December 14, 2012.
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This marks Franklin's 32nd consecutive year of dividend increase,
reflecting the company's commitment to return value to
shareholders with its strong cash generation capabilities. Prior
to this, the company increased its dividend by 8% (from 25 cents
to 27 cents per share) in December 2011.
In mid-November, Franklin announced the payment of a special cash
dividend of 3 cents per share. This dividend will be paid on
December 20 to shareholders of record as of December 6, 2012.
The dividend increase is part of Franklin's long-term strategy to
enhance shareholder value through prudent capital management. The
strategy also includes investment in profitable businesses while
sustaining financial stability and flexibility.
Based in San Mateo, California, Franklin is a global investment
management organization operating as Franklin Templeton
Investments with $754 billion in assets under management (AUM).
The organization provides an array of global and domestic
investment management solutions managed by Franklin, Templeton,
Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment
Early in November, the company declared preliminary AUM of $753.9
billion by its subsidiaries for the month of October 2012. The
company's results witnessed a rise of 0.5% from $749.9 billion as
of September 30, 2012. Moreover, it bolstered 8.6% from $694.1
billion as of October 31, 2011. Among its peers,
Legg Mason Inc.
) experienced a decline in AUM in October.
Despite active competition, the company has a significant
long-term upside potential. Based on its disciplined risk-aware
investment approach, Franklin makes investments in the public
equity and fixed income markets across the globe through its
In fiscal 2012 ending September 30, the company paid roughly $663
million in dividends to common shareholders. Cash and cash
equivalents along with investments exiting the year were $10.7
billion. Moreover, the company repurchased common stock worth
$797.4 million during fiscal 2012.
Franklin's global footprint is an exceptionally favorable
strategic point as its AUM is well diversified. The company is
also poised to benefit from its strong balance sheet. Moreover,
the recently completed acquisitions are expected to strengthen
its financial results. However, the regulatory restrictions and
sluggish economic recovery could mar AUM growth and increase
Franklin currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into
a short-term Hold rating. We believe the announcement of a
dividend increase will augur well for the company and help boost
shareholders' confidence, which might lead to positive estimate
revisions. This, in turn, could cause an upgrade in the Zacks