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

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Franklin Resources ( BEN) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Franklin Resources rose $1.80 (1.5%) to $123.68 on light volume. Throughout the day, 485,828 shares of Franklin Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 788,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $121.97-$123.78 after having opened the day at $122.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $121.88. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Emclaire Financial Corporation ( EMCF), up 17.8%, National Bank of Greece ( NBG), up 16.5%, Amrep Corporation ( AXR), up 12%, and Direct Markets Holdings ( MKTS), up 10.8%.
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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 $25.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.2, 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 26.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are nine 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 expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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).

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