Franklin Resources Considering Dividends, Share Buybacks

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN) on Tuesday said that it is considering increasing dividends or buying back shares as it benefits from recent U.S. tax reforms, despite reporting a swing to loss in the latest quarter due to higher taxes.

The San Mateo, Ca.-based investment management company posted a loss of $583.3 million, or $1.06 a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017 compared with a profit $440.2 million, or 77 cents, for the same period last year. It paid $1.22 billion in taxes for the quarter, compared with $200.9 million for the final quarter of 2016.

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Operating revenue rose to $1.62 billion, from $1.56 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016.

Assets under management on Dec. 31 were $753.8 billion, up from $753.2 billion at Sept. 30. Analysts had penciled in assets under management of $760.7 billion.

Chief Executive Greg Johnson said the board is discussing options created by the new tax reforms.

The board has declared a dividend of 23 cents a share in the period, compared with 20 cents a year earlier.

The tax law passed by Congress late last year and signed by President Donald Trump on Dec. 22 includes a reduction of the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% and limits the deductibility of corporate interest payments, among other provisions that dramatically revamp corporate taxes.

Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 30, 2018 09:07 ET (14:07 GMT)

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