ASML Holding N.V. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ASML) was in 14 hedge funds' portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. ASML investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest recently. There were 15 hedge funds in our database with ASML holdings at the end of the previous quarter.
If you'd ask most investors, hedge funds are assumed to be unimportant, old investment vehicles of the past. While there are over 8000 funds trading at the moment, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the top tier of this club, around 450 funds. It is estimated that this group controls the majority of the hedge fund industry's total capital, and by keeping an eye on their best picks, we have deciphered a number of investment strategies that have historically outpaced the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year for a decade in our back tests, and since we've began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have topped the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (explore the details and some picks here).
Just as integral, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the marketplace. There are plenty of stimuli for an executive to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this method if investors know what to do (learn more here).
With these "truths" under our belt, it's important to take a peek at the latest action encompassing ASML Holding N.V. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ASML).
At the end of the first quarter, a total of 14 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -7% from the first quarter. With the smart money's sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.
According to our comprehensive database, Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, holds the most valuable position in ASML Holding N.V. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ASML). Fisher Asset Management has a $90.3 million position in the stock, comprising 0.2% of its 13F portfolio. On Fisher Asset Management's heels is Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, which held a $79.6 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish include Ryan Heslop and Ariel Warszawski's Firefly Value Partners, Lee Ainslie's Maverick Capital and Matthew Iorio's White Elm Capital.
Since ASML Holding N.V. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ASML) has experienced falling interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, logic holds that there is a sect of funds who were dropping their positions entirely in Q1. Interestingly, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell's Arrowstreet Capital cut the largest position of the "upper crust" of funds we track, worth an estimated $20.2 million in stock., and Brian Taylor of Pine River Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $7.4 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 1 funds in Q1.
Bullish insider trading is at its handiest when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time period, ASML Holding N.V. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ASML) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).
Let's also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to ASML Holding N.V. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ASML). These stocks are Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ADR) (NYSE:ASX), Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE), Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX), KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC), and Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT). This group of stocks belong to the semiconductor equipment & materials industry and their market caps resemble ASML's market cap.