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Top Insider Trades: Birch Run Invests $37.2 Million in Regis Corp.


Eddie Lampert sells $33.8 million in AutoNation stock.

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, November 2, 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.

Birch Run Capital purchased $32.7 million worth of hair-salon operator Regis Corporation (NYSE:RGS). The purchases were made in eight tranches from October 31 to November 2 through "By torch BRC, L.P." Over the past 12 months a total of $62.5 million worth of Regis stock has been purchased by company insiders. Birch Run is now the second largest shareholder in Regis, which owns the "Hair Club for Men" franchise, after Fidelity Management, according to the SEC documents.

Edward S. Lampert, head of ESL Investments, sold $33.8 million worth of AutoNation (NYSE:AN) stock on the open market, according to SEC documents. ESL Investments has been a shareholder in AutoNation, which operates new and used vehicle franchises, since 2000 and Lampert sits on the company's board of directors. Lambert also owns AN shares through his hedge fund firm RBS Partners. At the end of the company's second quarter, Lambert had nearly $1.7 billion invested in AN, its second-largest holding after its $2.6 billion stake in Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD).

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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