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Need To Know: ASOS Plc (LON:ASC) Insiders Have Been Selling Shares

Simply Wall St

We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell ASOS Plc (LON:ASC), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Buying?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Columbia University study found that 'insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own company’s stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers'.

View our latest analysis for ASOS

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At ASOS

The Co-Founder & Non-Executive Director, Nicholas Robertson, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for UK£15m worth of shares at a price of UK£37.23 each. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold at a lower price. The good news is that this large sale was at well above current price of UK£27.19. So it may not shed much light on insider confidence at current levels. Nicholas Robertson was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid UK£165k for 7126 shares. On the other hand they divested 410k shares, for UK£15m. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

AIM:ASC Recent Insider Trading, September 19th 2019

I will like ASOS better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

Insiders at ASOS Have Bought Stock Recently

It's good to see that ASOS insiders have made notable investments in the company's shares. In total, insiders bought UK£150k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any sales whatsoever. That shows some optimism about the company's future.

Insider Ownership

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. 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's great to see that ASOS insiders own 5.7% of the company, worth about UK£131m. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About ASOS Insiders?

It's certainly positive to see the recent insider purchases. But we can't say the same for the transactions over the last 12 months. The high levels of insider ownership, and the recent buying by some insiders, suggests they are well aligned and optimistic. 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.

For the purposes of this article, insiders are those individuals who report their transactions to the relevant regulatory body. We currently account for open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.

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.