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Top Insider Trades: RTRX WHLR REED MRVC

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 Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, 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.

                Top 10 Open-Market Purchases
CIFC (CIFC) Dfr BO 1,000,000 9,000,000
Retrophin (RTRX) Shkreli Martin CEO,DIR,BO 150,000 1,050,000
Wheeler Reit (WHLR) Wheeler Jon S CEO,CB,DIR 235,000 982,300
Opko Health (OPK) Frost Phillip Md CEO,CB,BO 75,800 639,302
Reeds (REED) Linesch James CFO 25,974 207,273
MRV Communications (MRVC) Miller Lloyd I Iii BO 17,485 187,780
Cel Sci (CVM) Kersten Geert R CEO,DIR 300,000 180,000
Comstock Hldg (CHCI) Prescott Capital BO 93,900 178,496
Main Street Cap (MAIN) Foster Vincent CEO,PR,DIR 5,151 168,787
Berkshire Bancorp (BERK) Marx Moses DIR,BO 15,028 108,953
Source: Insider Insights
                  Top 10 Open-Market Sales
Ucp (UCPH) Cetin Erdogan DIR,BO 36,500,000 21,900,000
Fleetcor Tech (FLT) Freund Charles R PR 75,000 8,560,078
Integrated Device (IDTI) Feld Peter A DIR 426,780 4,333,924
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) Tanasijevich George PR,CEO 47,070 3,704,287
Tractor Supply (TSCO) Wright James F DIR 35,353 2,722,181
Cumulus Media (CMLS) Ba Capital DIR 200,000 1,522,660
F5 Networks (FFIV) McAdam John CEO,DIR 16,000 1,440,000
Costco Wholesale (COST) James Hamilton E DIR 11,900 1,414,153
Facebook (FB) Schroepfer Michael CTO 25,000 1,372,500
Schweitzer Mauduit (SWM) Fievez Michel VP 20,000 1,009,858
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 adviser 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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