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 Wednesday, Aug. 15, 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, 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.
Dole Food Co (DOLE) Murdock David H CB,DIR,BO 847,228 10,553,529
Air Transport Services (ATSG) Mesdag Willem BO 637,000 3,000,107
Home Loan Servicing (HLSS) Van Vlack John Patrick PR,DIR 30,000 435,000
Solar Senior Capital (SUNS) Gross Michael S CEO,PR,DIR 23,481 408,549
Universal Stainless (USAP) Pennant Capital Mgt BO 10,123 342,056
Parkway Properties (PKY) Heistand James R PR,CEO,DIR 25,000 280,975
Olympic Steel (ZEUS) McNeeley Donald R Jr DIR 15,142 249,504
Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT) Komnenovich Dan DIR 5,000 204,961
Alleghany (Y) Brandon Joseph Patrick VP 600 202,118
Iridex (IRIX) Blueline Catalyst Fund IX BO 60,900 194,362
Source: Insider Insights
GNC (GNC) Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board DIR,BO 8,965,796 344,465,888
Charter Communications (CHTR) Oaktree Opp Investments DIR,BO 1,666,667 121,666,688
Metals Usa (MUSA) Apollo Management V BO 4,000,000 56,344,800
Google (GOOG) Page Lawrence CEO,DIR,BO 27,778 18,555,616
Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) Link Max DIR 99,673 10,355,245
Fleetcor Technologies (FLT) Stull Steven T DIR 169,560 6,884,768
Mastercard (MA) Mastercard Foundation BO 7,336 3,159,461
Linkedin (LNKD) Henke David VP,OO 29,000 3,011,168
Lsb Industries (LXU) Golsen Jack E CB,CEO,BO 75,648 2,765,630
Portfolio Recovery Assoc (PRAA) Stevenson Kevin P VP,CFO,TR,A,SEC 25,000 2,391,443
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.