Top Insider Trades: MCP, VMW, PCS, OSK

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 Thursday, January 31, 2013 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 InsiderInsights.com, 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 BO 15,000,000 90,000,000
VMware (VMW) EMC BO 256,010 19,983,032
Liposcience (LPDX) Three Arch Capital BO 215,000 1,935,000
Univ Stnls (USAP) Pennant Capital Mgt BO 6,300 217,630
Valhi (VHI) Simmons Harold C CB,DIR,BO 10,000 156,005
Visualant (VSUL) Erickson Ronald P CEO,DIR 1,652,000 136,290
Newmarket (NEU) Gambill Mark M DIR 500 128,035
Moog (MOGA) Johnson Warren C VP 2,300 102,971
Visualant (VSUL) Pepper Jon DIR 1,000,000 82,500
Sun Bncrp (SNBC) Brugger Thomas R VP,CFO 20,000 68,619
Source: Insider Insights
Google (GOOG) Schmidt Eric E CB,DIR 71,193 53,579,719
Ixia (XXIA) Addington Hills BO 120,000 2,237,058
MetroPCS Comms (PCS) Linquist Roger D CEO,DIR 172,817 1,731,252
Oshkosh (OSK) Mosling J Peter Jr DIR 40,000 1,582,000
Wad & Reed Finl (WDR) Schulte Daniel C VP,GC 27,001 1,063,839
Walker & Dunlop (WD) Credit Suisse Ag BO 47,087 990,781
Td Ameritrade (AMTD) Ricketts J Peter DIR 46,000 893,640
Adobe Sys (ADBE) Rencher Bradley VP,SO 20,982 801,326
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) Erdoes Mary E MD 15,000 705,300
West Alliance Banc (WAL) Sarver Robert G CB,CEO,DIR 53,908 660,857
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 InsiderInsights.com, 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 TheStreet.com 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.

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