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MARKET SAVVY | Savvy Confidential / A briefing for
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What's Up At Franklin?

July 30, 1998|Times Staff

Investors have been pounding shares of mutual fund giant Franklin Resources lately.

The stock has slumped from $50.13 on July 17 to $43.06 as of Wednesday, and it's 26% below its 1998 peak of $57.88 set in April.

That's a much deeper dive than most fund management shares have experienced. T. Rowe Price Associates shares are down 14% from their 52-week high; United Asset Management shares are off just 10% from their peak.

Franklin's second-quarter earnings growth was respectable enough, with per-share results up 18% from a year ago. The company now manages $237 billion in assets.

Some investors may be worried about the planned exit of superstar fund manager Michael Price, who announced this week that he will depart Nov. 1 as chief executive of Franklin's Mutual Series stock funds. But that move was expected.

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