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Insiders reported yesterday, on Thursday December the 8th, that they bought and sold $136 million of stock in over 320 separate transactions in 201 different companies, including selling $130 million worth of stock and buying $6 million worth of stock. These transactions have to be reported within two days of the trade, so the transactions reported yesterday occurred sometime earlier this week. We culled through these 320 or so insider buys and sells (based on yesterday’s SEC Forms 3, 4, and 5 filings), as part of our daily and weekly coverage of insider trades, and present here the most notable trades reported yesterday (for a general discussion on how to interpret insider trades, please look at the end of this article):

Yum! Brands (YUM): YUM is one of the world’s largest restaurant companies, and it operates and franchises over 37,000 fast food restaurants including Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC in over 110 countries. Insiders currently hold 2.4 million or 0.5% of outstanding shares. On Thursday, Sr. VP Christian Campbell exercised options to acquire 82,878 shares, and then sold them for $4.8 million, ending the week with 13,288 shares. Of these, 26,880 were sold in the open market (regular sell), and the remaining 55,998 shares were sold back to the issuer. This is significant in that it is a large sell, and the shares sold were a significant portion of Mr. Campbell’s holdings in YUM stock. Overall, YUM insiders sold a total of 132,704 shares (buying none) during the past three months. YUM trades at a fair 18 forward P/E and 13.3 P/B compared to averages of 18.2 and 10.4 for the restaurant group.

BPZ Resources Inc. (BPZ): BPZ is engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas primarily in Peru and Ecuador. On Thursday, Director Gray Gordon sold 20,000 shares (regular sell). This is in addition to the 30,000 shares that he sold on Tuesday. Overall, insiders at BPZ sold only a total of 127,652 shares in the last three months (buying none). BPZ currently trades within striking range of its all-time lows as revenue growth is expected to slow down to the low single digits, and the company is expected to keep incurring losses going forward, at least until 2012.

Cornerstone Ondemand Inc. (CSOD): CSOD provides a comprehensive human capital management software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, including learning and talent management components, used for workforce training, communications and performance management. On Thursday, three corporate and institutional insiders sold a total of 414,879 shares for $7.4 million. This included venture capital firm Meritech Capital Partners selling 83,800 shares; SVP Vincent Belliveau exercising options and selling the resulting 150,000 shares (regular sell), ending the day with 50,000 shares; and Director Rob Ward selling 181,079 shares (regular sell), ending the week with 84,094 shares. Also, earlier in the week, on Wednesday CEO Adam Miller sold 58,320 shares and Bessemer Venture Partners sold 478,700 shares; on Tuesday, Director Mark Baker sold 20,000 shares; and on Monday, corporate and institutional insiders sold another 535,372 shares. This means that corporate and institutional insiders sold a total of 1.5 million shares this week. The company currently generates losses and trades at 13.5 P/B compared to the 4.4 average for the software group.

Mines Management Inc. (MGN): MGN is engaged in the acquisition and development of silver properties in North America. On Thursday, CEO Glenn Dobbs sold 100,000 shares (regular sell), ending the week with 1.5 million shares. This is significant in that it is a large sell, and given that insider selling is uncommon at MGN as in the past year insiders sold only a total of 208,144 shares (buying none). MGN currently generates losses, and it trades at 2.9 P/B, at par with the 2.9 average for the silver mining group.

Discovery Communications (DISCA): DISCA offers original and purchased programming to the media and entertainment industries in the U.S. and 180 other countries. Insiders currently hold 59.2 million shares or 22.3% of outstanding shares. On Thursday, Founder and Director John Hendricks exercised options and sold the resulting 23,072 shares (under a 10b5-1 plan) for $1.0 million, ending the week with 1.2 million shares. This is in addition to the 251,928 shares sold by insiders during the week, including 75,000 shares sold by CFO Bradley Singer and the remaining by Mr. Hendricks. While insider selling is not uncommon at DISCA, this is still a strong pick-up given that insiders sold a total of 4.1 million shares during the past year (buying none). DISCA is under-valued, and at trades at 14-15 forward P/E and 2.5 P/B compared to averages of 34.2 and 2.8 for the radio and TV broadcasting group.

Big Lots Inc. (BIG): BIG operates as a broad line closeout retailer, with almost 1,400 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Guam, offering a range of merchandise, including consumables, home improvement, furniture, electronics, and seasonal categories. On Thursday, three insiders sold a total of 40,179 shares for $1.5 million. This included SVP Thomas Chapin exercising options and selling the resulting 33,750 shares (regular sell), ending the day with 27,000 shares; SVP Craig Claxton selling 1,429 shares (regular sell); and Director James Tener exercising options and selling the resulting 5,000 shares (regular sell), ending the day with 16,192 shares.

This is significant in that it is a large sell, in that the shares sold were a significant component of the sellers holdings in BIG, and in that it is a strong pick-up in selling given that insiders sold only a total of 144,119 shares (buying none) in the past year. BIG is under-valued, and at trades at 11 forward P/E and 3.2 P/B compared to averages of 15.3 and 3.7 for the discount retail group.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as a solicitation to purchase or sell securities. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. Further, these are our ‘opinions’ and we may be wrong. We may have positions in securities mentioned in this article. You should take this into consideration before acting on any advice given in this article. If this makes you uncomfortable, then do not listen to our thoughts and opinions. The contents of this article do not take into consideration your individual investment objectives so consult with your own financial adviser before making an investment decision. Investing includes certain risks including loss of principal.

Source: Analyzing Thursday's Noteworthy Insider Buys And Sells