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, August 24, 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.
Forest Laboratories (FRX) Icahn Carl C BO 1,343,837 46,453,228
Molycorp (MCP) Bhappu Ross R DIR,BO 2,500,000 25,000,000
Home Loan Servicing (HLSS) Erbey William C DIR 42,221 657,225
Molycorp (MCP) Smith Mark A PR,CEO,DIR 50,000 500,000
Solar Senior Capital (SUNS) Gross Michael S CEO,PR,DIR 25,523 444,045
Healthcare Trust Of Amer (HTA) Wescombe Gary T DIR 30,000 276,600
Molycorp (MCP) Doolan Michael F VP,CFO 25,000 250,000
Opko Health (OPK) Frost Phillip MD et al CEO,CB,BO 32,500 144,771
Harte Hanks (HHS) Franklin Larry PR,CEO,DIR 20,000 140,362
First Horizon National (FHN) Gilchrist Corydon J DIR 15,000 127,260
Source: Insider Insights
Kohls (KSS) Kellogg William S DIR 900,000 46,362,764
Estee Lauder (EL) Lauder Ronald S CB,BO 552,458 33,031,960
Kohls (KSS) Herma John F DIR 500,000 25,757,090
Western Refining (WNR) Wrc Refining PT 807,302 21,570,486
Intuit (INTU) Cook Scott D CB,DIR 200,000 11,637,674
Facebook (FB) Moskovitz Dustin A BO 450,000 8,738,085
Saks (SKS) Inmobiliaria Carso SA BO 705,000 8,301,657
ServiceSource International (SREV) Reynolds Barry D DIR 710,671 6,112,108
Axis Capital Holdings (AXS) Gressier John CEO 75,000 2,526,600
Kohls (KSS) Sommerhauser Peter M DIR 43,982 2,265,697
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.