Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Franklin Resources

(

BEN

) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Franklin Resources rose $1.65 (1.1%) to $154.11 on light volume. Throughout the day, 432,305 shares of Franklin Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 642,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $152.35-$154.61 after having opened the day at $153.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $152.46. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were:

Old Second Bancorp

(

OSBC

), up 30.0%,

National Bank of Greece

(

NBG

), up 21.3%,

MPG Office

(

MPG

), up 20.4% and

Maui Land & Pineapple Company

(

MLP

), up 12.8%.

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Franklin Resources Inc. is a publicly owned asset management holding company. The firm provides its services to individuals, institutions, pension plans, trusts, and partnerships. It manages, through its subsidiary, separate client-focused equity, fixed income, and balanced portfolios. Franklin Resources has a market cap of $32.3 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Franklin Resources as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front,

Credit Suisse

(

DSLV

), down 14.8%,

First

(

FBMS

), down 9.0%,

Vestin Realty Mortgage II

(

VRTB

), down 8.8% and

Raymond James Financial

(

RJF

), down 8.5% , were all laggards within the financial sector with

UDR

(

UDR

) being today's financial sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider

Financial Select Sector SPDR

(

XLF

) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider

Proshares Short Financials

(

SEF

).

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