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 Friday, July 20, 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.

We should also relay that July is a seasonally slow filing period for insider transactions, so the dollar values of the records below are likely smaller than they will be in August.

At, we find new investment ideas just about every day using 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.
Babcock & Wilcox (BWC) Mason Capital Mgt BO 100,000 2,514,000
Emmis Communications (EMMS) Smulyan Jeffrey H CB,CEO,BO,DIR 116,866 229,901
Opko Health (OPK) Frost Phillip MD et al CEO,CB,BO 25,000 115,250
Valhi (VHI) Simmons Harold C CB,DIR,BO 2,000 22,779
WAM Defined Opp Fund (DMO) Walsh Stephen A CIO 1,000 22,600
Morgans Foods (MRFD) Jcp Investment Management BO 10,173 21,791
Buckingham Exploration (BUKX) Relph Christopher Robin CB,CFO,DIR 300,000 16,000
China Information Tech (CNIT) Lin Jiang Huai CEO,DIR,BO 8,500 8,417
Agilysys (AGYS) Dennedy Jim PR,CEO,DIR 500 4,250
Emtec (ETEC) Desai Dinesh CB,CEO,BO 3,038 3,342
Source: Insider Insights
Google (GOOG) Doerr L John DIR 20,603 12,428,886
Bank Of The Ozarks (OZRK) Gleason Linda D DIR 71,000 2,385,595
Ashland (ASH) Obrien James J Ky CEO 24,200 1,694,256
Sourcefire (FIRE) Roesch Martin F CTO,CEO,DIR 31,250 1,429,173
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD) FMR BO 73,215 980,573
Marriott International (MAR) Marriott J W Jr CB,DIR,BO 25,000 930,250
Cardtronics (CATM) Clinard Michael H PR 30,000 924,372
Forest City Enterprises (FCEA) Shafran Joan K BO 60,000 867,365
FXCM (FXCM) Charlestone Venture Holdings BO 63,959 705,184
Ambient (AMBT) Vicis Capital BO 133,000 680,960
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, 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 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.