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Read This Before Buying KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) Shares

Simply Wall St

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell KLA-Tencor Corporation ( NASDAQ:KLAC ), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

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, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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.'

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See our latest analysis for KLA-Tencor

KLA-Tencor Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Director, Emiko Higashi, sold US$251k worth of shares at a price of US$117 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$109. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. Given that the sale took place at around current prices, it makes us a little cautious but is hardly a major concern.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 3641 shares worth US$417k. In the last year KLA-Tencor insiders didn't buy any company stock. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqGS:KLAC Recent Insider Trading, May 20th 2019

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

KLA-Tencor Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of KLA-Tencor shares. Specifically, insiders ditched US$417k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it's not the be all and end all.

Insider Ownership of KLA-Tencor

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It appears that KLA-Tencor insiders own 0.2% of the company, worth about US$31m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.

So What Do The KLA-Tencor Insider Transactions Indicate?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. But it is good to see that KLA-Tencor is growing earnings. 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 .

But note: KLA-Tencor 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.

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.