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Insiders Buy at KKR and Linn Energy; Wilbur Ross Jr. Sells Majority of Stake in Assured Guaranty

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Plus, there was a purchase at MVC Capital.

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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 June 3, 2013.

Purchases: Robert Scully, a Director of global investment company KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), bought 91,000 shares of company stock for $1,813,630. Mr. Scully is also a Director of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and previously served as Co-President, Chairman of Global Capital Markets, and Vice Chairman of Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). KKR offers a full array of investment management services to clients and provides capital market services to its portfolio companies and third-party clients.Before working at Morgan Stanley, Scully was a managing director at both Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers. In February, KKR acquired three solar photovoltaic energy projects from Starwood Energy Group. In April, KKR acquired a minority stake in English private school company Cognita Ltd. Last month, KKR acquired clean water supply and service company South Staffordshire PLC from Alinda Capital Partners LLC, the world's largest, independent infrastructure investment firm. On May 30, David Petraeus, the former US Army General and Chief of the CIA, joined KKR as Chairman; he resigned from the CIA in November 2012 after an FBI investigation discovered an extramarital affair between him and his biographer, Paula Broadwell (that investigation is ongoing). The stock's price has seen a decline since May 30, decreasing from a close of $20.17 on that day to the current price of $19.17, which is up 25.74% year-to-date and up 62.15% since this time last year.

Terrence Jacobs, the lead Director of independent oil and natural gas company Linn Energy (NASDAQ:LINE), bought 15,000 shares of company stock for $580,374. The company's properties include operations in the the Mid-Continent (Texas panhandle, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Illinois), the Permian Basin (West Texas, Southeast New Mexico), the Antrim Shale (Michigan), Brea Olinda Field of the Los Angeles Basin (California), and the Williston Basin (North Dakota). On May 31, the company, along with LinnCo LLC (NASDAQ:LNCO) and Berry Petroleum Company (NYSE:BRY), announced an update on the proposed timing for their previously announced merger. As the Form S-4 remains under review by the SEC, the companies hope to merge now after a shareholder meeting in the third quarter of 2013. In the last six months, the company's stock price has decreased by 15.41%, and it is down 5.48% since this time last year.

Phillip Goldstein, a Director of close-ended management investment company MVC Capital (NYSE:MVC), bought 37,671 shares of company stock for $480,494. The company provides clients with equity and debt investment capital to fund growth, acquisitions, and recapitalizations of small- and mid-market companies across a wide spectrum of industries, including energy, specialty chemicals, medical devices, consumer products, financial services, IT, and more. Mr. Goldstein is also the Founder and Portfolio Manager of Bulldog Investors, which investors in closed-end funds, small-cap companies, and special purpose acquisition companies. MVC Capital's stock price is currently $12.81, up 5.1% YTD and up 3.48% since this time last year.

Sales: Wilbur Ross Jr., a Director of Bermuda-based holding company Assured Guaranty (NYSE:AGO), sold 5 million shares of company stock for $109,700,001. Marketing directly to issuers and underwriters of public finance, infrastructure, and structured finance securities, as well as investors in debt obligations, the company insures taxable and tax-exempt obligations issued by government authorities, utility districts or facilities, bonds issued to finance international infrastructure projects, and asset-backed securities issued by special-purpose entities. Mr. Ross is well known amongst investment circles for restructuring failed companies, especially in the coal, steel, telecommunications, foreign investment, and textiles industries. Yesterday, Assured Guaranty announced it will buy back 5 million shares from WL Ross & Co. LLC, which Wilbur Ross Jr. founded in 2000, for $21.94 per share, which will decrease the LLC's stake in the company to 8%. Assured Guaranty's stock price is up 58.89% YTD and up 100.8% since this time last year.

Insider Purchases
#: Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Type
Dollar Value
1
DIR,BO
B
$6,591,690
2
BO
B
$2,360,400
3
DIR
B
$1,813,630
4
BO
B
$580,374
5
DIR
B
$512,950
6
DIR
JB*
$499,995
7
DIR
B
$480,494
8
DIR
B
$332,500
9
CB,DIR,BO
B
$324,493
10
DIR
B
$250,296

Insider Sales
#: Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Type
Dollar Value
1
DIR,BO
JS*
$109,700,001
2
DIR,BO
JS*
$12,148,125
3
BO
S
$9,319,656
4
BO
S
$7,039,334
5
DIR
S
$4,372,585
6
CB,CEO,DIR
AS
$2,718,163
7
BO
S
$2,528,055
8
DIR
S
$2,456,552
9
DIR
S
$2,205,044
10
BO
S
$1,955,323

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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