Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN): Today's Featured Financial Services Winner

Franklin Resources ( BEN) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Franklin Resources rose $1.73 (1.4%) to $125.63 on light volume. Throughout the day, 637,008 shares of Franklin Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 870,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $123.30-$126.13 after having opened the day at $123.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $123.90. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), up 12.9%, SGOCO Group ( SGOC), up 8.4%, Cash America International ( CSH), up 7.2%, and Community Bankers Trust Corporation ( BTC), up 6.6%.

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 $26.16 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.1, equal to the average financial services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 26.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate Franklin Resources a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Franklin Resources as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Ampal-American Israel Corporation ( AMPL), down 12.5%, Ameritrans Capital Corporation ( AMTC), down 10.8%, Artio Global Investors ( ART), down 9.9%, and Credit Suisse ( DSLV), down 4%, were all losers within the financial services industry with IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE) being today's financial services industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial services industry could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial services industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).
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