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How Much Are Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) Insiders Taking Off The Table?

Simply Wall St

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It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN).

What Is Insider Selling?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. 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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. As Peter Lynch said, 'insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise.'

See our latest analysis for Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the CEO & Director, Ludwig Hantson, for US$311k worth of shares, at about US$95.85 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$121, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. Please do note, however, that sellers may have a variety of reasons for selling, so we don't know for sure what they think of the stock price. This single sale was just 8% of Ludwig Hantson's stake.

In the last twelve months insiders netted US$871k for 7849 shares sold. Insiders in Alexion Pharmaceuticals didn't buy any shares in the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

NasdaqGS:ALXN Recent Insider Trading, July 15th 2019

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

Insider Ownership of Alexion Pharmaceuticals

I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 0.2% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals shares, worth about US$53m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

So What Do The Alexion Pharmaceuticals Insider Transactions Indicate?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. Our analysis of Alexion Pharmaceuticals insider transactions leaves us cautious. But we do like the fact that insiders own a fair chunk of the company. 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.

But note: Alexion Pharmaceuticals may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.

For the purposes of this article, insiders are those individuals who report their transactions to the relevant regulatory body.

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.