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Top Insider Trades: HCA RFP HTZ HRG

By Jonathan Moreland, founder of Insider Insights and author of Profit From Legal Insider Trading.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It is a victory for common sense. Tracking the trading behavior of company executives, directors and large shareholders in the stocks of firms they're registered in as "insiders" has proven to be profitable, according to both academic studies and (more importantly) the experience of professional investors.

Below are lists of the top 10 mainly open-market insider purchases and sales filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, December 18, 2012 as ranked by dollar value. Please note, however, that these are only factual lists, not buy and sell recommendations. Dollar value is only one metric to assess the importance of an insider transaction, and, frankly, often not even the most important metric that determines if an insider transaction is significant.

At InsiderInsights.com, we find new investment ideas just about every day using these and more intricate insider screens to determine where we should focus our subsequent fundamental and technical analysis. And while stocks don't (or shouldn't) move up or down based on insider activity alone, insiders tend to be good indicators of when real stock-moving events like earnings surprises, corporate actions, and new products may be in the offing.

So use these regular Top Insider Trades columns as the initial research tools they are meant to be, and click the links in the tables to analyze a company's or insider's full insider history. Also feel free to contact us with any questions on our proprietary insider data, and how it is best analyzed.

Resolute Forest Pr (RFP) Fairfax Finl BO 919,521 11,192,042
VMware (VMW) EMC BO 68,975 6,416,195
Nustar Gp (NSH) Greehey William E DIR,BO 63,500 1,816,454
Lhc (LHCG) Coliseum Capital DIR,BO 44,100 903,609
American Pacific (APFC) Mill Road Capital BO 25,794 322,296
Gtx (GTXI) Sear Timothy DIR 50,000 216,350
Opko Health (OPK) Frost Phillip MD CEO,CB,BO 40,000 184,978
Spark Networks (LOV) Osmium Partners BO 21,676 153,092
Fluidigm (FLDM) Jones Evan DIR 10,000 143,585
Thestreet (TST) Martin William C BO 86,045 141,943
Source: Insider Insights
HCA (HCA) KKR Millennium BO 15,286,241 504.44 M
HCA (HCA) Bain Capital BO 15,033,063 496.09 M
Hertz Global (HTZ) Carlyle Mgt BO 16,985,356 267.85 M
Harbinger (HRG) Harbinger Capital BO 20,010,000 150,075,008
Ralcorp (RAH) Meister Keith A DIR 883,456 78,811,960
Fidelity Natl (FIS) Hagerty Thomas DIR 1,235,932 43,745,620
Tile Shop (TTS) Nabron Intl BO 2,613,150 37,041,400
Solarwinds (SWI) Yonce Donald BO 347,131 18,850,594
Tile Shop (TTS) Rucker Robert A CEO,DIR
BO
1,183,818 16,780,620
Ralph Lauren (RL) Lauren Family BO 100,000 15,005,088
Source: Insider Insights

Key to Titles: A=Assistant, AI=Affiliated Investor, AO=Accounting Officer, BD=Business Development, BO=Beneficial Owner, CAO=Chief Accounting Officer, CB=Chairman, CCO=Chief Compliance Officer, CEO=Chief Executive Officer, CFO=Chief Financial Officer, CIO=Chief Information Officer, CO=Compliance Officer, COO=Chief Operating Officer, CT=Controller, CTO=Chief Technology Officer, DIR=Director, EVP=Executive Vice President, F=Founder, FO=Financial Officer, GC=General Counsel, HR=Human Resources, IO=Information Officer, IR=Investor Relations, LO=Legal Officer, MD=Managing Director, O=Officer, OO=Operating Officer, PR=President, PT=Partner, REL=Relative of an insider, SEC=Secretary, SH=Shareholder, SO=Sales Officer, TO=Technology Officer, TR=Treasurer, TT=Trustee, VCB=Vice Chairman, VP=Vice President, X=Ex Officer or other title displayed.

Jonathan Moreland is the founder of InsiderInsights.com, which produces a weekly newsletter and offers professional screening and alerting tools to analyze a proprietary, real-time insider data feed. He is also the principal of Insider Asset Management, a registered investment advisor in New York. Mr. Moreland has been analyzing insider data professionally for two decades and has been a contributor to TheStreet.com since 2001. A fundamental analyst with an MBA in finance, Mr. Moreland long ago identified insider data as an excellent first screen to determine where to focus his research efforts. He is quoted frequently in the media for his insider analysis and stock recommendations stemming from it. He is also author of Profit From Legal Insider Trading.

Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, Moreland appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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