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Top Insider Trades: Big Sales at Hospital Corporation of America by KKR and Bain Capital


Plus, more purchases at VMware, NuStar GP, and TheStreet, and another sale of Ralph Lauren.

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 Tuesday, December 18, 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, Fairfax Financial (TSE:FFH), a holding company that works in property, casualty, life insurance, investment management, and insurance claims management, bought $11,192,042 worth of stock in Resolute Forest Products (NYSE:RFP). The company is a global leader in the production of newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp, and wood products. Before the trade, Fairfax owned about 20% of RFP in stock. On the list again is EMC (NYSE:EMC), an American multinational corporation that sells data storage products and services, which bought $6,416,195 worth of stock in VMware (NYSE:VMW). VMware specializes in virtualization and cloud infrastructure services for major companies. On Monday, EMC bought $6,423,813 worth of VMware. William Greehey, Chairman of the Board of NuStar GP Holdings (NYSE:NSH) -- which oversees NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS), one of the US's biggest refiners and marketers of asphalt -- bought $1,816,454 worth of of company stock. This is his third day in a row making a purchase. At online financial media provider TheStreet (NASDAQ:TST), 10% owner William C. Martin bought $141,943 worth of stock. He also bought company stock last Friday. Today, the SEC charged TheStreet and three executive with accounting fraud.

In sales, KKR Millennium Fund, one of the private equity funds run by KKR and Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), and Bain Capital, the asset management and financial services company co-founded by Mitt Romney, both sold stock in Hospital Corporation of America (NYSE:HCA) -- $504,445,944 and $496,091,072, respectively. HCA operates hospitals and health care centers across the US. At online tile merchant Tile Shop (NASDAQ:TTS), Nabron International, a beneficial owner, and Robert A Rucker, CEO and director, both sold stock -- $37,041,400 and $16,780,620, respectively. The Lauren family sold $15,005,088 worth of clothing company Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) stock. The family sold $15,408,255 worth of company stock on December 7 and $15,288,125 worth of company stock on December 13.

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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