Back to top

Analyst Blog

On Dec 17, 2013, we reaffirmed our long-term recommendation on Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN - Analyst Report) at Neutral. Though the company's fiscal fourth-quarter 2013 earnings lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate, we expect it to benefit from its consistently increasing assets under management, strategic acquisitions and strong balance sheet.

Why This Stance?

Franklin’s fiscal fourth-quarter 2013 (ended Sep 30)earnings of 80 cents per share lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 86 cents. However, this compared favorably with the year-ago earnings of 77 cents. Results were affected by higher-than-expected expenses.

Franklin enjoys a competitive edge over its peers owing to its diverse and innovative portfolio of investment products as well as strong footprint in Asia and Latin America. Moreover, since its inception in 1981, the company has been consistently increasing its dividend from time to time, which reflects its long-term strategy to enhance shareholder value.

However, Franklin’s asset management business and margins growth are expected to have a negative impact owing to the volatile markets and macroeconomic headwinds.  Additionally, company’s increased costs will pose limit bottom-line growth.

Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 advanced 2.2% to 92 cents per share, while for 2014 it remained almost stable at  $3.73 per share. As a result, Franklin currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked investment management firms worth considering include Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc. (APAM - Snapshot Report), Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR - Snapshot Report) and Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (VRTS - Snapshot Report). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
SUPER MICRO… SMCI 27.00 +10.25%
CANADIAN SO… CSIQ 38.34 +8.18%
CENTURY ALU… CENX 26.97 +7.97%
WILLDAN GRO… WLDN 11.38 +5.86%
AROTECH COR… ARTX 3.78 +5.59%