Ameriprise Financial Services (NYSE: AMP) and Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability and earnings.

Dividends

Ameriprise Financial Services pays an annual dividend of $3.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Franklin Resources pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Ameriprise Financial Services pays out 37.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Franklin Resources pays out 26.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Ameriprise Financial Services has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years and Franklin Resources has raised its dividend for 35 consecutive years.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

79.4% of Ameriprise Financial Services shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 45.0% of Franklin Resources shares are held by institutional investors. 1.5% of Ameriprise Financial Services shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 21.6% of Franklin Resources shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Ameriprise Financial Services and Franklin Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ameriprise Financial Services 11.81% 26.54% 1.20%
Franklin Resources 27.30% 13.96% 10.41%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Ameriprise Financial Services and Franklin Resources, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ameriprise Financial Services 1 4 4 0 2.33
Franklin Resources 3 6 1 0 1.80

Ameriprise Financial Services currently has a consensus target price of $145.85, suggesting a potential downside of 2.41%. Franklin Resources has a consensus target price of $43.33, suggesting a potential downside of 3.21%. Given Ameriprise Financial Services’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Ameriprise Financial Services is more favorable than Franklin Resources.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Ameriprise Financial Services and Franklin Resources’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ameriprise Financial Services $12.00 billion 1.87 $2.90 billion $8.78 17.02
Franklin Resources $6.39 billion 3.91 $2.31 billion $3.06 14.63

Ameriprise Financial Services has higher revenue and earnings than Franklin Resources. Franklin Resources is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ameriprise Financial Services, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Ameriprise Financial Services has a beta of 1.88, meaning that its stock price is 88% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Franklin Resources has a beta of 1.72, meaning that its stock price is 72% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Ameriprise Financial Services beats Franklin Resources on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Ameriprise Financial Services Company Profile

Ameriprise Financial, Inc. is a financial services company that offers financial solutions to individual and institutional clients. The Company operates in five segments: Advice & Wealth Management; Asset Management; Annuities; Protection, and Corporate & Other. The Company uses Ameriprise Financial as its enterprise brand, as well as the name of its advisor network and certain of its retail products and services. The retail products and services that use the Ameriprise Financial brand include those that it provides through its advisors (financial planning, investment advisory accounts and retail brokerage services) and products and services that the Company markets directly to consumers or through affinity groups (personal auto and home insurance). The Company uses its RiverSource brand for its annuity and protection products issued by the RiverSource Life companies, including its life and disability income insurance products.

Franklin Resources Company Profile

Franklin Resources, Inc. is a holding company. The Company, along with its subsidiaries, operates as Franklin Templeton Investments. It is a global investment management company that provides investment management and related services to retail, institutional and high net-worth clients in jurisdictions around the world. The Company offers its investment products and services under the Franklin, Templeton, Franklin Mutual Series, Franklin Bissett, Fiduciary Trust, Darby, Balanced Equity Management, K2 and LibertyShares brand names. Its products include investment funds and institutional, high net-worth and separately managed accounts (collectively, sponsored investment products (SIPs)). It offers various types of SIPs, such as the United States funds, cross-border funds, local/regional funds, and other managed accounts, alternative investment products and trusts. Its investment funds include the United States-registered funds, non-United States-registered funds and unregistered funds.

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