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 Tuesday, Dec. 17, 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, 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.

            Top 10 Open-Market Purchases
Valeant Pharm Intl (VRX) Pearson J Michael CEO 184,247 14,999,548
Office Depot (ODP) Smith Jeffrey C DIR,BO 1,350,000 7,047,910
Tetralogic Pharm (TLOG) Healthcare Vent BO 713,463 4,994,241
Horizon Pharma (HZNP) Bird Jeffrey W DIR 668,673 4,346,375
Centene (CNC) Ayala Orlando DIR 17,600 992,816
Aircastle (AYR) Marubeni DIR,BO 30,000 552,867
Starbucks (SBUX) Ullman Myron DIR 7,000 535,010
Lnb Bancorp (LNBB) Disanto Frederick DIR 50,000 515,000
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) Gutierrez Carlos M DIR 5,000 456,615
Intl Isotopes (INIS) McCormack John BO 13,824,981 311,062
Source: Insider Insights
                      Top 10 Open-Market Sales
Seaworld Ent (SEAS) Blackstone BO 19,500,000 563,062,516
Pinnacle Foods (PF) Blackstone BO 17,000,000 437,697,312
Taminco (TAM) Apollo Mgt Gp BO 9,954,588 191,625,824
Evertec (EVTC) Apollo Mgt Gp BO 9,205,743 187,106,720
Evertec (EVTC) Popular DIR,BO 5,800,000 117,885,000
Diamondback Energy (FANG) Gulfport Energy DIR,BO 300,000 15,416,520
Apollo Global (APO) Harris Joshua MD,DIR,BO 223,562 6,774,237
Exxon Mobil (XOM) Albers Mark W VP 52,300 5,092,331
B E Aerospace (BEAV) Khoury Amin J CB,CEO 58,340 4,998,408
Trimas (TRS) Tredwell Daniel P DIR 120,000 4,520,550
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 adviser 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.