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

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 Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Franklin Resources fell $1.64 (-1.3%) to $124.66 on average volume. Throughout the day, 483,713 shares of Franklin Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 635,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $124.57-$125.96 after having opened the day at $125.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $126.30. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 18.8%, Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), down 10%, Gleacher ( GLCH), down 7.1%, and Investors Capital Holdings ( ICH), down 6.5%.
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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 $26.88 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 31.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and increase in net income. 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 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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