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Is Franklin Natural Resources A (FRNRX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for FRNRX

By
This story originally appeared on Zacks

On the lookout for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? Starting with Franklin Natural Resources A (FRNRX) should not be a possibility at this time. FRNRX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

History of Fund/Manager

Franklin Templeton is based in San Mateo, CA, and is the manager of FRNRX. Franklin Natural Resources A debuted in June of 1995. Since then, FRNRX has accumulated assets of about $201.67 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of -2.63%, and is in the top third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of 0.27%, which places it in the top third during this time-frame.

When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. Compared to the category average of 18.47%, the standard deviation of FRNRX over the past three years is 38.8%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 32.02% compared to the category average of 15.18%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. FRNRX has a 5-year beta of 1.64, which means it is likely to be more volatile than the market average. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -22.9, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

For investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, FRNRX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.24% compared to the category average of 1.53%. So, FRNRX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Franklin Natural Resources A ( FRNRX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse downside risk, and lower fees, Franklin Natural Resources A ( FRNRX ) looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on FRNRXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well for additional information. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.



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