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

Franklin Resources ( BEN) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Franklin Resources fell $1.41 (-1.2%) to $116.16 on average volume. Throughout the day, 962,603 shares of Franklin Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 785,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $115.79-$117.69 after having opened the day at $117.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $117.57. Other company's within the Financial sector that declined today were: WSB Holdings ( WSB), down 14.3%, American Realty Investors ( ARL), down 11.4%, Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania ( RBPAA), down 10.9%, and Gleacher ( GLCH), down 10%.

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 $25.7 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.8, 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 24.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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 and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Income Opportunity Realty Investors ( IOT), up 44.9%, Summit Financial Group ( SMMF), up 29.7%, Cascade Bancorp ( CACB), up 28.2%, and Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), up 17.6%, were all gainers within the financial sector with AvalonBay Communities ( AVB) being today's featured financial sector winner.

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).