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Is Franklin Utilities A1 (FKUTX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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There are plenty of choices in the Mutual Fund Equity Report category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is Franklin Utilities A1 (FKUTX - Free Report) . FKUTX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Franklin is responsible for FKUTX, and the company is based out of San Mateo, CA. The Franklin Utilities A1 made its debut in September of 1948 and FKUTX has managed to accumulate roughly $3.22 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. John Kohli is the fund's current manager and has held that role since December of 1998.


Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. FKUTX has a 5-year annualized total return of 7.11% and it sits in the middle third among its category peers. If you're interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund's 3-year annualized total return of 2.79%, which places it in the middle third during this time-frame.

When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. FKUTX's standard deviation over the past three years is 18.98% compared to the category average of 16.75%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 16.13% compared to the category average of 14.62%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.53, so it is likely going to be less volatile than the market at large. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 2.09, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.


As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, FKUTX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.73% compared to the category average of 1.22%. So, FKUTX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Franklin Utilities A1 ( FKUTX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Franklin Utilities A1 ( FKUTX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on FKUTXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report category. Consider going to for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.

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