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Over 500 companies are reporting their fourth quarter earnings next week - do you have a watch list prepared?

For ideas, we ran a screen on next week's reporting companies for those with the most significant net insider buying over the last six months. This indicates that insiders, such as members of the board and upper management, who know more about their companies than any other investors, are bullish about their employer's prospects.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

Do you think these companies will report positive earnings surprises? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by net insider purchases as a percent of share float.

1. VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW): Provides virtualization and virtualization-based cloud infrastructure solutions primarily in the United States. Market cap of $36.08B. Earnings to be announced on 01/23. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 3.30M, which is 4.28% of the company's 77.05M share float. The stock has lost 10.51% over the last year.

2. Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE:LM): Operates as an asset management company worldwide. Market cap of $3.68B. Earnings to be announced on 01/27. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 3.47M, which is 3.07% of the company's 112.92M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 10.29% over the last week.

3. Cathay General Bancorp (NASDAQ:CATY): Operates as the holding company for Cathay Bank, which offers various commercial banking products and services for individuals, professionals, and small to medium-sized businesses primarily in California. Market cap of $1.24B. Earnings to be announced on 01/23. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 1.46M, which is 2.01% of the company's 72.72M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 5.76% (equivalent to 8.62 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 18.19%.

4. Vistaprint N.V. (NASDAQ:VPRT): Operates as an online provider of marketing products and services to micro businesses worldwide. Market cap of $1.14B. Earnings to be announced on 01/26. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 613.55K, which is 1.99% of the company's 30.82M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 27.53% (equivalent to 16.35 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.2% over the last week.

5. National Penn Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:NPBC): Operates as the bank holding company for National Penn Bank that provides commercial banking products and services to residents and businesses primarily in eastern and central Pennsylvania. Market cap of $1.33B. Earnings to be announced on 01/26. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 1.12M, which is 1.14% of the company's 98.02M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 5.33% (equivalent to 8.48 days of average volume). The stock has gained 8.53% over the last year.

6. NuStar GP Holdings, LLC (NYSE:NSH): Owns general partner and limited partner interests in NuStar Energy L.P. that engages in the terminalling and storage of petroleum products, transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia, and marketing of asphalt and fuels. Market cap of $1.39B. Earnings to be announced on 01/27. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 300.0K, which is 0.86% of the company's 34.78M share float. The stock has lost 5.65% over the last year.

7. City Holding Co. (NASDAQ:CHCO): Operates as the bank holding company for City National Bank of West Virginia that offers community banking services to consumers and local businesses. Market cap of $531.23M. Earnings to be announced on 01/23. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 82.86K, which is 0.59% of the company's 14.05M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 15.06% (equivalent to 27.28 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 13.37%.

8 Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGBN): Operates as the bank holding company for EagleBank that provides various commercial and consumer banking services. Market cap of $316.97M. Earnings to be announced on 01/25. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 86.23K, which is 0.52% of the company's 16.73M share float. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 6.59% above its SMA20, 10.55% above its SMA50, and 19.15% above its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 11.8%.

9. NuStar Energy L.P. (NYSE:NS): Engages in the terminalling, storage, and transportation of petroleum products primarily in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, St. Market cap of $3.91B. Earnings to be announced on 01/27. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 201.03K, which is 0.38% of the company's 53.52M share float. The stock has lost 14.08% over the last year.

10. TrustCo Bank Corp. NY (NASDAQ:TRST): Operates as the holding company for Trustco Bank that provides various banking products and services to individuals, partnerships, and corporations. Market cap of $532.86M. Earnings to be announced on 01/23. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 324.30K, which is 0.36% of the company's 89.94M share float. The stock has lost 3.87% over the last year.

11. Swift Transportation Company (NYSE:SWFT): Provides transportation services. Market cap of $1.38B. Earnings to be announced on 01/25. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 313.0K, which is 0.33% of the company's 94.50M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.08% over the last week.

12. AsiaInfo-Linkage,Inc. (NASDAQ:ASIA): Provides telecommunications software solutions and information technology products and services to telecommunications carriers and other enterprises in the People's Republic of China. Market cap of $572.64M. Earnings to be announced on 01/26. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 124.30K, which is 0.29% of the company's 43.50M share float. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.86, and P/FCF ratio at 7.58. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 21.84% (equivalent to 11.49 days of average volume). The stock has lost 58.84% over the last year.

13. ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ:SHOR): Provides Internet protocol telecommunications systems for enterprises in the United States. Market cap of $312.78M. Earnings to be announced on 01/27. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 112.51K, which is 0.27% of the company's 41.05M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.47% over the last week.

14. Cirrus Logic Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS): Develops high-precision analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits. Market cap of $1.24B. Earnings to be announced on 01/26. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 152.12K, which is 0.24% of the company's 63.37M share float. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 21.42% above its SMA20, 23.45% above its SMA50, and 27.44% above its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 17.7% over the last week.

15. First Financial Bankshares Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIN): Provides commercial banking products and services primarily in Texas. Market cap of $1.09B. Earnings to be announced on 01/26. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 49.55K, which is 0.17% of the company's 29.55M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 16.67% (equivalent to 37.94 days of average volume). The stock has gained 3.47% over the last year.

16. Privatebancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PVTB): Operates as the holding company for The PrivateBank and Trust Company that provides business and personal financial services to middle-market companies and business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, and families in the United States. Market cap of $924.78M. Earnings to be announced on 01/24. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 75.17K, which is 0.13% of the company's 59.56M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 5.61% (equivalent to 5.26 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 36.44%.

17. MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE:MTG): Provides private mortgage insurance to the home mortgage lending industry in the United States. Market cap of $875.09M. Earnings to be announced on 01/25. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 232.50K, which is 0.12% of the company's 197.13M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 3.27). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 19.75% (equivalent to 5.15 days of average volume). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 11.25% over the last week.

18. WMS Industries Inc. (NYSE:WMS-OLD): Engages in the design, manufacture, and distribution of games, video and mechanical reel-spinning gaming machines, and video lottery terminals for the legalized gaming industry worldwide. Market cap of $1.16B. Earnings to be announced on 01/26. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 65.90K, which is 0.12% of the company's 54.17M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 10.63% (equivalent to 6.11 days of average volume). The stock has lost 55.71% over the last year.

19. Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL): Operates as the holding company for Brookline Bank that provides various banking products and services. Market cap of $528.15M. Earnings to be announced on 01/25. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 60.21K, which is 0.11% of the company's 56.44M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 8.42% (equivalent to 10.35 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 13.2%.

*Insider data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 19 Companies Releasing Earnings Next Week With Strong Insider Buying