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, August 22, 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.
Molycorp (MCP) Molibdenos Y Metales S A BO 4,500,000 45,000,000
Sonus Networks (SONS) Empire Capital Mgt BO 413,382 748,221
Hi Crush Partners (HCLP) Huff John R DIR 25,000 425,000
Opko Health (OPK) Frost Phillip MD et al CEO,CB,BO 80,000 344,888
First Opportunity Fund (FOFI) Adams Nicholas C FO 39,298 283,663
Immersion (IMMR) Rima Senvest Mgt BO 50,000 262,500
Simmons First National (SFNC) Makris George Jr DIR 10,725 261,367
Midstates Petroleum (MPO) Crum John A PR,CEO,DIR 25,000 201,000
PHH (PHH) Tucker David E VP 10,000 179,417
Alleghany (Y) Brandon Joseph Patrick VP 500 166,850
Source: Insider Insights
Saks (SKS) Inmobiliaria Carso SA BO 1,520,000 17,916,435
Kellogg (K) Kellogg W K Foundation BO 150,000 7,732,455
Homeaway (AWAY) Redpoint Ventures II BO 267,468 6,658,609
Sprecher Jeffrey C CEO,DIR 43,250 5,847,560
Bank Of The Ozarks (OZRK) Gleason George G II CB,CEO,BO 112,100 3,643,778
Watts Water Tech (WTS) Horne Timothy P BO 80,200 3,055,861
Scripps E W (SSP) Boehne Richard A PR,CEO,DIR 265,494 2,727,353
Rex Energy (REXX) Shaner Lance T DIR 157,078 2,051,439
Rackspace Hosting (RAX) Still George J Jr DIR 30,000 1,671,000
Plains All American Pipeline (PAA) Vonberg John VP 15,000 1,315,205
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.