What Type Of Shareholders Own The Most Number of ASML Holding N.V. (AMS:ASML) Shares?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 30, 2020
ENXTAM:ASML

If you want to know who really controls ASML Holding N.V. (AMS:ASML), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

ASML Holding is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of €132b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ASML Holding.

View our latest analysis for ASML Holding

ownership-breakdown
ENXTAM:ASML Ownership Breakdown August 30th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ASML Holding?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it's included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

We can see that ASML Holding does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see ASML Holding's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
ENXTAM:ASML Earnings and Revenue Growth August 30th 2020

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. ASML Holding is not owned by hedge funds. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 7.0% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 5.7% and 4.4%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.

On studying our ownership data, we found that 25 of the top shareholders collectively own less than 50% of the share register, implying that no single individual has a majority interest.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of ASML Holding

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

Our information suggests that ASML Holding N.V. insiders own under 1% of the company. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own €26m of stock. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 41% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand ASML Holding better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for ASML Holding you should know about.

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.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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