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What's in Store for Franklin (BEN) This Earnings Season?

Franklin Resources, Inc. BEN is scheduled to report fiscal second-quarter 2016 (ended Mar 31) results before the opening bell on Wednesday, April 27.

In the last quarter, earnings of this this asset manager missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also came below the prior-year quarter figure. Results reflected lower revenues and net outflows. The quarter recorded a decline in assets under management (AUM) with lower expenses acting as a tailwind.

Notably, Franklin recorded negative earnings surprise in three of the trailing four quarters, with an average negative surprise of 4.04%.

Will Franklin miss earnings this quarter as well, given the challenges the industry witnessed during the quarter? Let's see what factors might have influenced the earnings report this time around.

Factors to Impact Fiscal Second-Quarter Results

The U.S. markets remained choppy with heightened volatility from the start of the year, and only returned to the positive territory after mid February. Given Franklin’s AUM disclosure for Mar 2016, the upcoming release will reflect lower AUM as well as net outflows. Asset classes under both equity and fixed income witnessed decline compared to the prior year period.

Further, the upcoming results might reflect expense pressure on the bottom line. Given the company’s continued investments in several areas, including strategic beta ETF, liquid alternatives and related solutions, bottom-line growth is likely to be affected with higher expense in the quarter.

Also, Franklin is subject to numerous regulations by U.S. and non-U.S. regulators that add further complexity to the ongoing global compliance operations and can thereby hurt profitability.

Nevertheless, we believe the company’s top line should get support from its diversified portfolio offerings and global footprint.

Additionally, activities of Franklin during fiscal second quarter 2016 were adequate to win analysts’ confidence. As a result, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter advanced 1.6% to 62 cents over the last seven days.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model shows that Franklin is less likely to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in fiscal first quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive http://www.zacks.com/earnings/earnings-surprise-predictions/">Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or at least #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) for this to happen. Unfortunately, this is not the case here as elaborated below.

Zacks ESP:  The earnings ESP for Franklin is 0.00%. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 62 cents.

Zacks Rank: Franklin’s Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) increases the predictive power of ESP. However, we also need to have a positive ESP to be confident of an earnings surprise call.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some stocks you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Affiliated Managers Group Inc. AMG has an Earnings ESP of +0.68% and carries a Zacks Rank #2. It is expected to report results on Apr 26.

Federated Investors, Inc. FII has an Earnings ESP of +2.33% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will release results on Apr 28.

Legg Mason Inc. LM has an Earnings ESP +7.69% and carries a Zacks Rank #3. It is scheduled to report on Apr 28.

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
LEGG MASON INC (LM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FEDERATED INVST (FII): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FRANKLIN RESOUR (BEN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AFFIL MANAGERS (AMG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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