Top Insider Trades: A Big Sale at Teavana Follows Its Acquisition by Starbucks

By Jonathan Moreland  JAN 02, 2013 12:32 PM

Plus, more purchases of SandRidge Energy and Health Management Associates.


In a victory for common sense, the trading behavior of company executives, directors, and large shareholders in the stocks of firms they're registered "insiders" at have been proven profitable to monitor by both academic studies and (more importantly) the experience of your fellow 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 31, 2012 as ranked by dollar value.

Please note, however, that these are 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.

In purchases, the Toronto-based holding company Fairfax Financial (PINK:FRFHF) bought $18,891,672 worth of stock in SandRidge Energy (NYSE:SD), an oil and exploration company based in Oklahoma. This follows a purchase from last week for $30,812,060. The $7 billion hedge fund Glenview Capital bought $9 million worth of stock in Health Management Associates (NYSE:HMA). The private investment partnership FPR Partners bought $6,838,512 worth of stock in ViaSat (NASDAQ:VSAT), a company that makes satellites and other digital communications products. The central North Carolina-based bank holding company FNB United Corp. (NASDAQ:FNBN) saw two purchases, from Director Brian Simpson for $249,991 and from Chief Financial Officer David Nielsen for $237,492.

In sales, Andrew Mack, Chairman and CEO of tea retailer Teavana (NYSE:TEA), sold $333,419,872 worth of company stock. This follows news from December 31 that Starbuck's (NASDAQ:SBUX) acquisition of Teavana had formally closed and that Teavana is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starbucks. There were two sales at Discover Financial (NYSE:DFS), where Chief Operating Officer Roger Hochschild sold $5,223,668 worth of company stock and Vice President Diane Offereins sold $3,812,991 worth of company stock. Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of cable operator Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), sold $3,761,824 worth of company stock.

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.

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes

Editor's note: Jonathan Moreland is the founder of Insider Insights and author of "Profit From Legal Insider Trading."
No positions in stocks mentioned.