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

Franklin Resources ( BEN) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Franklin Resources fell 62 cents (-0.5%) to $116.51 on light volume. Throughout the day, 611,133 shares of Franklin Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of one million shares. The stock ranged in price between $116.02-$117.99 after having opened the day at $116.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $117.13. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 11.8%, China Ceramics ( CCCL), down 5.8%, Ampal-American Israel Corporation ( AMPL), down 5.6%, and Encore Capital Group ( ECPG), down 4.8%.

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 $24.24 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.4, 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 18.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Global Cash Access Holdings ( GCA), up 12.9%, First Trust Europe AlphaDEX ( FEP), up 6.7%, Direct Markets Holdings ( MKTS), up 5.7%, and Regional Management ( RM), up 4.9%, were all gainers within the financial services industry with Bank of New York Mellon ( BK) being today's featured financial services industry leader.

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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