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Top Insider Trades: A Sale at Marriott and a Purchase at Lawson Products


Plus: Purchases at NGL Energy Partners, and a sale at data-protection company Proofpoint.

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 17, 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, Ronald B. Port, Chairman of the Board and Director of Lawson Products (NASDAQ:LAWS), bought $5,074,997 of the company's stock. Lawson Products is an industrial distributor of maintenance and repair supplies. H. Michael Krimbill, CEO and CFO of NGL Energy Partners LP (NYSE:NGL), bought $3,269,927 worth of company stock. The partnership was formed when Hicksgas and NGL Supply combined, and was recently bolstered by the contribution of E. Osterman Propane and SemStream natural gas liquids operational assets. The employee-owned hedge fund sponsor Abrams Capital Management bought $2,660,000 worth of stock in Engility (NYSE:EGL), a company that provides engineering, professional support, and mission support to the US Department of Defense, Federal civilian agencies, and allied foreign governments.

In sales, Richard E Marriott sold $8,054,447 of Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) stock. Richard Marriott is a beneficial owner in Marriott, and also serves as Chairman of the board for Host Hotels & Resorts, formerly Host Marriott Corporation. His brother, Bill Marriott, Jr., currently serves as Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board for Marriott. Clifford Illig sold $7,728,540 worth of stock in health care consulting firm Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN). Illig is a co-founder of the company and serves as Director and Vice Chairman of the Board. The investment firm Mohr, Davidow Ventures VII sold $5,211,650 of stock in Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) , a company that provides data protection solutions to medium and large-sized organizations. John L Doerr, a Director of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), sold $5,000,385 of company stock. This follows two sales last week by CEO Larry Page ($19,377,674 on Wednesday and $19,396,116 on Friday) and one by Director Shriram Kavitark last Friday ($12,787,184).

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."
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