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Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN - Analyst Report) declared preliminary assets under management (AUM) of $847.5 billion by its subsidiaries for Apr 2013. The company’s AUM rose 2.9% from $823.7 billion as of Mar 31, 2013. Moreover, it increased 16.7% from $726.4 billion as of Apr 30, 2012.

Month-end total equity assets came in at $325.9 billion, inching up 1.9% from the prior month and 10.1% from the year-ago period. Of the total equity assets, approximately 72.6% were from international sources while the remaining 27.4% were from the U.S.

Franklin’s total fixed income assets were $383.7 billion, up 3.9% from $369.2 billion as of Mar 31, 2013 and 19.8% from $320.3 billion as of Apr 30, 2012. Overall, tax-free assets for Franklin accounted for only 22.3% of the fixed income assets, while the remaining 77.7% were taxable.

Franklin recorded $132.1 billion in hybrid assets, which increased 2.2% from $129.2 billion in the prior month and surged 27.3% from $103.8 billion in the year-ago month.

Cash management funds for Franklin were reported at $5.8 billion, up 7.4% from the prior month but down 6.5% from the prior-year month.

Among other asset managers, Legg Mason Inc. (LM - Analyst Report) and Invesco Ltd. (IVZ - Analyst Report) are expected to release their preliminary AUM for Apr 2013 by the middle of this month.

Franklin has a global footprint and well-diversified AUM, which is strategically excellent for the company. Further, Franklin is expected to benefit from its strong balance sheet.

However, regulatory restrictions and a sluggish economic growth can adversely affect AUM improvement and increase costs.

Currently, Franklin carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other better performing asset managers include Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. (WDR - Analyst Report), which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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