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Top Insider Trades: Gates Unloads $123 Million of Microsoft Stock


Mid-Con Energy Partners also saw a significant insider sale while Entergris reported a buy.

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 Wednesday, October 24, 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.

Bill Gates sold $126 million worth of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in a pre-scheduled automatic sale through the insider's 10b5-1 program. One of Mid-Con Energy Partner's (NASDAQ:MCEP) directors and general partners, Peter Leidel, sold $73.3 million worth of the oil and natural gas company's stock. The transaction was not done on the open market and was filed two days after the company announced the closing of its public offering. The year-and-a-half-old company's stock currently yields 9% and will go ex-dividend on November 5 (paying out the $0.485 (dividend paying on November 14).

On the buy side, GMT Capital, already a 10% beneficial insider of Entergris (NASDAQ:ENTG), made a $3.2 million open market buy of the high-tech product manufacturer's stock. The purchases were made over four days in October. According to SEC filings, GMT Capital, a private investment company which serves as the investment manager for several hedge funds, first bought into ENTG one year ago.

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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