Top Insider Trades: LAWS NGL MAR CGNX

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 Monday, December 17, 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.
Lawson (LAWS) Port Ronald B DIR,BO 584,677 5,074,997
Ngl Energy Part (NGL) Krimbill H Michael CEO,CFO,
150,000 3,269,927
Engility (EGL) Abrams Capital BO 140,000 2,660,000
Bruker (BRKR) Laukien Frank H CEO,DIR,
50,000 734,130
Ascent (ASCMA) Malone John C BO 8,731 560,006
Merrimack (MACK) Crocker Gary L DIR 36,500 247,215
Opko Health (OPK) Frost Phillip MD CEO,CB,
40,000 183,451
Aveo Pharm (AVEO) Kucherlapati Raju S DIR 15,000 101,034
First Opp Fund (FOFI) Lola Brown Tr BO 12,571 94,948
Federated Natl (FNHC) Simberg Bruce CB,DIR 16,318 90,483
Source: Insider Insights
Marriott Intl (MAR) Marriott Richard E BO 223,780 8,054,447
Cerner (CERN) Illig Clifford W VCB,DIR 100,000 7,728,540
Cognex (CGNX) Shillman Robert J CB,DIR 205,500 7,221,573
Exacttarget (ET) O Driscoll Rory DIR 370,100 6,756,906
Proofpoint (PFPT) MDV VII BO 500,000 5,211,650
Google (GOOG) Doerr L John DIR 6,994 5,000,385
Cvs Caremark (CVS) Piccolo C A DIR 98,555 4,845,646
Fastenal (FAST) Slaggie Stephen M DIR 100,000 4,304,450
Aetna (AET) McCarthy Margaret M VP,OO
87,000 4,024,446
Fidelity Natl (FIS) Foley William P II DIR 83,245 2,962,864
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.