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UPDATED: Top Insider Trades: Mason Capital Sells Babcock & Wilcox, and Lampert Buys Sears


Plus, sales at Kellogg and at pharmaceutical companies Alexion and Jazz.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected. Due to a mistake on Mason Capital's reporting forms, our story originally stated that Mason Capital had purchased Babcock & Wilcox stock. In fact, the hedge fund had sold shares in the company. See below.

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 Friday, January 11, 2013 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.

Edward Lampert, Chairman of department store chain Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD), bought $13,576,982 worth of company stock. The principal trading organization DRW Trading Group bought $6 million worth of stock in SCG Financial Acquisition (NASDAQ:SCGQ). At real estate investment firm Newcastle Investment Corp. (NYSE:NCT), Director Wesley Edens and Secretary Randal Nardone each bought $999,983 worth of company stock.

In sales, the New York-based hedge fund Mason Capital sold $68,600,000 worth of stock in Babcock & Wilcox (NYSE:BWC), which provides design, engineering, manufacturing, construction, and management for nuclear, renewable, fossil fuels, industrial, and government customers. Leonard Bell, principal founder and CEO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN), sold $2,718,612 worth of company stock. At Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JAZZ), Director Patrick Enright sold $2,363,917 worth of company stock. Charles Hull, Co-Founder, Executive Vice President, and Chief Technology Officer of 3D printing company 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD), sold $354,085 worth of company stock. The CEO of language software company Rosetta Stone (NYSE:RST), Stephen Swad, sold $302,184 worth of company stock. Swad has a varied resume: He was the CFO of Fannie Mae, the CFO of AOL (NYSE:AOL), and the deputy chief accountant at the SEC, to name a few of his positions.

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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