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Top Insider Trades: American Superconductor Investor Buys Another $1 Million


Sellers included Google, Apple, Yelp, and Visa.

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 December 4, 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.

Since September Dia-Ichi (PINK:DCNSF) has loaded up on about $265 million worth of Janus Capital (NYSE:JNS) not including the nearly $46 million just reported to the SEC. Nearly all have been open market buys. Another repeat purchaser, EMC (NYSE:EMC) is back on the insider buying list with another $9 million buy of VMware (NYSE:VMW).

Kevin Douglas picked up just under $1 million worth of American Superconductor (NASDAQ:AMSC). Douglas is a lead investor of AMSC.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) insider Sergey Brin continued unloading the stock, with the latest automatic sale for $57 million. Other insider sales included Max Levchin, chairman of the board of Yelp (NYSE:YELP), with an open market sale of $9.9 million in stock. Eduardo Cue sold $8.9 million in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock and two insiders sold Visa (NYSE:V), Ellen Richey and Joshua Floum.

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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