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In Insider Trading, Bill Gates Sells Microsoft Shares While Spectrum Brands and Opko Health See Purchases

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Plus, Apollo Management Group sells part of its stake in Berry Plastics.

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Welcome to our daily roundup of top insider trades. Here's a look at the most significant inside sales and purchases filed with the SEC on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

Purchases: Harbinger Group (NYSE:HRG) bought 87,9000 shares of consumer products company Spectrum Brands (NYSE:SPB) for $5,012,550. The company's range of products is wide: It sells Rayovac Batteries, Stanley Hardware, Cutter bug spray, and Perfect Coat pet grooming products. Harbinger is the majority stockholder of Spectrum Brands, owning 30,189,386 shares of company stock, worth $1,707,813,566.02 at the current stock price of $56.57. The company's stock is up 64.16% since this time last year and 25.68% year-to-date, though it has recently slumped downward from its $59 close on Tuesday.

Phillip Frost, the Chairman and CEO of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics company Opko Health (NYSE:OPK), bought 100,000 shares of company stock for $692,447. On April 24, the company announced it would be buying the Israeli biopharmaceutical company PROLOR Biotech (NYSEAMEX:PBTH) in an all-stock deal intended to expand Opko's portfolio of specialty drugs. The deal, valued at $480 million, put a 20% premium on PROLOR's stock price at the close on Tuesday (PROLOR's stock price is 14.03% for the week and Opko's is down 1.42% for the same period).

Sales: Bill Gates sold 12,605,492 shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) for $390,360,320. A recent report was published by Soluto ranking the best performing Windows-equipped laptops for April 2013, and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook Pro 13 (it can run Windows) took first place. Despite this, Microsoft has performed well year-to-date, increasing 17.89% since the beginning of 2013, though it is down 1.94% since this time last year.

Apollo Management Group (NYSE:APO) sold 17,383,802 shares of plastic consumer packaging and engineered materials provider Berry Plastics (NYSE:BERY) for $285,181,280. Apollo is the top institutional holder of Berry Plastics and still owns 49,531,672 shares of company stock after the sale. The company operates in three segments: Rigid Packaging, Flexible Packaging, and Engineered Materials. The company's stock price is down 6.81% since this time last month, though it is up 12.31% YTD.

Insider Purchases
#: Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Type
Dollar Value
1
BO
B
$5,012,550
2
CEO,CB,BO
B
$692,447
3
VP
JB*
$300,000
4
DIR,BO
JB*
$99,999
5
VCB,DIR
B
$93,380
6
DIR
B
$59,752
7
DIR
B
$56,500
8
DIR
B
$18,800
9
VP
B
$16,790
10
CEO,DIR
JB*
$15,000

Insider Sales
#: Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Type
Dollar Value
1
DIR
AS
$390,360,320
2
BO
JS*
$285,181,280
3
PR,CEO,DIR
AS
$6,136,275
4
DIR
N
AS
$3,786,276
5
VP,CFO
S
$3,619,463
6
DIR,BO
S
$3,531,150
7
VP
S
$1,710,845
8
VP,DIR
AS
$1,199,389
9
PR,CEO,DIR
AS
$760,984
10
VP,GC,SEC
AS
$750,646

Source: InsiderInsights.com | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes


An important note from Jonathan Moreland, founder of Insider Insights:

In a victory for common sense, it has been proven profitable -- by both academic studies and (more importantly) the experience of your fellow professional investors -- to monitor the trading behavior of company executives, directors, and large shareholders in the stocks of firms of which they're registered as "insiders."

Please note, however, that the lists above are strictly factual; they are 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.

At InsiderInsights.com, 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.

Jonathan Moreland is also the author of "Profit From Legal Insider Trading."

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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