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Have Insiders Been Selling ASML Holding N.V. (AMS:ASML) Shares?

Simply Wall St

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. On the other hand, we'd be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in ASML Holding N.V. (AMS:ASML).

What Is Insider Selling?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'

View our latest analysis for ASML Holding

ASML Holding Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The President, Peter T. F. Wennink, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for €1.2m worth of shares at a price of €185 each. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of €169. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take price at a lower price. Given that the sale took place at around current prices, it makes us a little cautious but is hardly a major concern. Notably Peter T. F. Wennink was also the biggest buyer, having purchased €2.6m worth of shares.

Over the last year, we can see that insiders have bought 17400 shares worth €2.6m. But insiders sold 40898 shares worth €3.8m. Over the last year we saw more insider selling of ASML Holding shares, than buying. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

ENXTAM:ASML Recent Insider Trading, June 6th 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

ASML Holding Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last three months saw significant insider selling at ASML Holding. In total, insiders dumped €3.8m worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.

Does ASML Holding Boast High Insider Ownership?

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. It appears that ASML Holding insiders own 0.04% of the company, worth about €30m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

What Might The Insider Transactions At ASML Holding Tell Us?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. Despite some insider buying, the longer term picture doesn't make us feel much more positive. On the plus side, ASML Holding makes money, and is growing profits. While insiders do own shares, they don't own a heap, and they have been selling. So we'd only buy after careful consideration. If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.