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Top Insider Trades: Spark Networks and Hewlett-Packard Share Owners Increase Stakes


FleetCor and Charter Communications insiders sell.

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, December 5, 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.

Osmium Partners purchased $554,770 worth of Spark Networks' (NYSEAMEX:LOV) stock, according to SEC documents. Since 2010, the investors have been lobbying for change at the online personals provider, pointing out (among other items) that under the then-CEO, the stock price had fallen nearly 50% and that the top five executives were overpaid.

William L. Veghte increased his stake of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) by $296,860. Vehte is the COO of the software giant.

Serial inside purchasers Mallika Srinivasan and Phillip Frost reappeared on the list, buying AGCO (NYSE:AGCO) and Opko Health (NYSE:OPK), respectively.

Summit Ventures VI-A sold nearly $255 million worth of stock in FleetCor Technologies (NYSE:FLT), the specialized payment products provider. Oaktree Capital Group Holdings, which invested in Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) during its 2009 bankruptcy plan, unloaded just over $48 million of the broadband/cable services company's stock.

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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