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

Franklin Resources ( BEN) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services loser. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Franklin Resources fell $1.43 (-1.3%) to $112.45 on light volume. Throughout the day, 633,593 shares of Franklin Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 973,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $111.88-$113.94 after having opened the day at $113.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $113.88. Other company's within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group ( RODM), down 16.2%, Direct Markets Holdings ( MKTS), down 16.2%, Palmetto ( PLMT), down 15%, and Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), down 11.9%.

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 $23.45 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.6, 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 13.4% 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 growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM.A), up 8.8%, Penson Worldwide ( PNSN), up 8.3%, Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), up 4.6%, and Greenhill ( GHL), up 3.7%, were all gainers within the financial services industry with E*Trade Financial ( ETFC) being today's featured financial services industry winner.

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).