Top Insider Trades: ZF, MVBF, CEN, QBAK

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. 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, 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
Pershing Gold (PGLC) Honig Barry C DIR,BO 3,730,860 1,249,838
MVB Financial (MVBF) Brooks Stephen R DIR 3,125 100,000
Qualstar (QBAK) Bkf Capital BO 85,698 98,901
Gughm Cr Al Fd (GGM) Barnes Randall C TT,DIR 2,175 48,938
Center Coast Mlp & Inf (CEN) Bauch William W TR 2,500 45,050
Zweig Fund (ZF) Dickerson David VP 2,600 38,636
Nuveen SD Cr Fd (JSD) Evans Jack TT 2,000 37,452
Nuveen FR Inc Fd (JRO) Evans Jack O 3,000 36,180
Nuveen Pref Inc Fd (JTP) Evans Jack DIR 4,600 35,374
Amreit (AMRE) Longnecker Brent DIR 2,000 33,636
Source: Insider Insights
                    Top 10 Open-Market Sales
Norwegian Cruise (NCLH) Star NCLC BO 1,650,000 53,079,512
Norwegian Cruise (NCLH) Apollo Mgt Gp BO 1,237,500 39,809,632
Fidelity Natl Fin (FNF) Foley William P II DIR 292,100 9,541,271
Groupon (GRPN) Keywell Bradley DIR 500,000 5,757,500
Apt Inv & Mgt (AIV) Considine Terry CB,CEO 100,000 2,610,290
Stryker (SYK) Stryker Ronda E DIR 21,000 1,574,919
Simon Property (SPG) Sterrett Stephen E VP,CFO 8,955 1,371,369
Pershing Gold (PGLC) Alfers Stephen D CEO,PR,DIR 3,730,860 1,249,838
Ipg Photonics (IPGP) Samartsev Igor CTO,DIR 15,000 1,141,500
YELP (YELP) Stoppelman Jeremy CEO,DIR,BO 14,705 953,322
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.