Top Insider Trades: Chairman of Live Nation Resigns and Sells Stock to Liberty Media

By Jonathan Moreland  JAN 04, 2013 4:42 PM

Plus, sales at Google and Brown-Forman.


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 Thursday, January 3, 2013 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.

Media conglomerate Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) bought $15,000,003 worth of stock in Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE:LYV), the concert promoting company that was formed with the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2010. The purchase comes with Irving Azoff, Chairman of the company, resigning and selling off 1.7 million shares to Liberty Media (see sales chart below). Debora Wilson, a Director of insurance holding company Markel (NYSE:MKL), bought $428,990 worth of company stock. The company's Vice President and CFO Anne Waleski also bought stock, worth $86,441. At bank holding company Independence Bancshares (PINK:IEBS), two Directors, Alexander McLean III and Neel Hipp Jr., bought $200,000 each of company stock. Dr. Phillip Frost, Chairman and CEO of pharmaceutical and diagnostics company Opko Health (NYSE:OPK), again bought company stock, today $149,683 worth.

Christina Brown, a beneficial owner of the spirits and wine company Brown-Forman (NYSE:BF.A), sold $377,465,305 worth of company stock. She is the widow of former Chairman and CEO of the company, Owsley Brown II, who passed in September 2011. At Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Co-Founder and Director Sergey Brin sold $60,030,676 worth of company stock and Director Kavitark Shriram sold $14,600,000 worth of company stock. Irving Azoff, Chairman of Live Nation, sold $15,000,004 of company stock to Liberty Media, a Director and Beneficiary Owner of the company. Scott Cook, the Chairman of tax preparation company Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU), again sold stock, this time for $11,244,963. George Zoley, the CEO of GEO Group (NYSE:GEO), sold $7,501,836 of company stock. GEO provides government outsourced services, specializing in the management of correctional, detention, mental health, and residential treatment facilities.

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.