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 down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Franklin Resources rose 68 cents (0.7%) to $102.73 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.2 million shares of Franklin Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 884,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $101.51-$102.98 after having opened the day at $101.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $102.05. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), up 10.2%, First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), up 7.6%, Pzena Investment Management ( PZN), up 7.1%, and NewStar Financial ( NEWS), up 5.7%.

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 $22.98 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.3, 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 11.2% 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 eight 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group ( RODM), down 18.9%, Penson Worldwide ( PNSN), down 15%, US Global Investors ( GROW), down 8.8%, and Dominion Resources Black Warrior ( DOM), down 8.3%, were all losers within the financial services industry with Bank of New York Mellon ( BK) 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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