Franklin Hits New 52-Week High - Analyst Blog

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Franklin Hits New 52-Week High

Shares of Franklin Resources Inc. ( BEN ) achieved a new 52-week high, touching $158.96 in the second half of the trading session on May 7. The closing price of this well-know asset manager represents a solid year-to-date return of 22.4%. The trading volume for the session was 341,909 shares.

Despite hitting its 52-week high, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has plenty of upside left given its strong estimate revisions over the last 7 days and the expected year-over-year earnings growth of 15.2% for fiscal 2013.

Growth Drivers

Impressive fiscal second-quarter 2013 results - including an earnings surprise of 8.5% and strong assets under management (AUM) position - as well as solid capital deployment activities and a robust capital position have been the primary growth drivers for Franklin.

On Apr 30, Franklin reported second-quarter 2013 earnings of $2.69 per share, significantly beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 21 cents. Moreover, results outpaced earnings of $2.42 in the prior quarter. Better-than-expected results came on the back of higher revenues.

As of Mar 31, 2013, total AUM was $823.7 billion, up 5.4% sequentially, driven by market appreciation of $24.5 billion and $18.3 billion of net new flows. Simple monthly average AUM of $807.3 billion during the quarter climbed 6% sequentially. Net new flows were $18.3 billion versus $0.3 billion in the prior quarter.

Moreover, Franklin has now delivered positive earnings surprises for 4 straight quarters with an average beat of 3.6%.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

For Franklin, over the last 7 days, 9 of the 16 estimates for fiscal 2013 have been revised upward, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.6% to $10.31 per share. For fiscal 2014, 8 of the 17 estimates moved north, helping the Zacks Consensus Estimate advance 1.1% to $11.53 per share.

Some better performing investment managers include Invesco Ltd . ( IVZ ), AllianceBernstein Holding L.P . ( AB ) and Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. ( VRTS ). All these carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).



ALLIANCEBERNSTN (AB): Free Stock Analysis Report

FRANKLIN RESOUR (BEN): Free Stock Analysis Report

INVESCO LTD (IVZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

VIRTUS INVESTMT (VRTS): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AB , BEN , IVZ , VRTS

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