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Top Insider Trades: Sales at SL Green Realty, and More Selling at Google and Ralph Lauren


Plus, EMC buys VMware yet again.

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 Wednesday, December 26, 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 insider purchases, private investment company Blue Mountain Capital bought $12,483,007 worth of stock in Dune Energy (OTC:DUNR), an independent oil and gas exploration and development company. The data storage products and services corporation EMC (NYSE:EMC) bought $6,398,252 worth of stock in VMware (NYSE:VMW). This was EMC's fifth purchase in two weeks. Dr. Phillip Frost, Chairman and CEO of Opko Health (NYSE:OPK), again bought company stock, today's purchase worth $511,141. Two vice presidents at oil and gas service company Weatherford (NYSE:WFT), James C. Parent and Dharmesh Mehta, bought company stock, for $326,041 and $318,900, respectively.

In sales, Stephen L Green, Founder and Chairman of SL Green Realty (NYSE:SLG), sold $20,796,390 worth of company stock. The company claims to be the largest owner of office buildings in Manhattan. This follows yesterday's sale by CEO Marc Holliday. There were also two sales at Google (NASDAQ:GOOG): Eric E Schmidt, Chairman and Director, sold $17,749,398 and Director John L Doerr sold $5,000,466. The Lauren family has yet again sold stock in Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL), today for $14,972,381.

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.
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