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Franklin Resources Declines Most in Two Months on Asset Drop

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Franklin Resources Inc., manager of the Franklin and Templeton mutual funds, fell the most in more than two months after assets under management declined in December.

Franklin dropped 5 percent, the most since Nov. 9, to close at $96.67 in New York trading. Assets under management declined to $670.3 billion at the end of December from $675.8 billion in the previous month, San Mateo, California-based Franklin said yesterday.

Global bond assets, the key driver in Franklin’s growth over the past two years, declined to $174.7 billion from $179.4 billion on Nov. 30. Investors pulled $1.8 billion from the $58 billion Templeton Global Bond Fund in November and December, the first redemptions in three years after performance lagged behind rivals, according to data compiled by Morningstar Inc. The fund attracted $15 billion in net deposits in the first 10 months of 2011, according to the Chicago-based research firm.

A reversal in the growth of global fixed-income products “could greatly impact results negatively,” Jonathan Casteleyn, an analyst with Susquehanna International Group LLP, wrote in a note to clients yesterday. He maintained his “neutral” rating on the stock.

Franklin was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” by Robert Lee, an equity analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. It was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by William Katz, an analyst with Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Stein in Boston at cstein4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net

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