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Top Insider Trades: Danaher Chairman Unloads $755.55 Million Worth of Shares


Bill Gates continues to sell Microsoft while Carl Icahn increases his investment in Navistar.

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 Thursday, October 25, 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.

Steve Rales sold 15 million Danaher (NYSE:DHR) shares worth $755.55 million, according to a 13D and Form 4 documents filed with the SEC. Rales is co-founder and chairman of the medical equipment manufacturer. Bill Gates' pre-scheduled sale of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) continued, this time with $154.3 million worth of shares. Gates' stock sale was automatic and done through the insider's 10b5-1 program.

Carl Icahn added $29.9 million worth of Navistar stock to Icahn Partners' portfolio. Navistar produces vehicles and engines. James Grosfeld, director of BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), purchased $20.4 million worth of stock in the investment management firm. Both Icahn and Grosfeld made their purchases on the open market.

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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