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Insiders reported last week, Wednesday through Friday, that they bought and sold stock in over 540 separate transactions in over 300 different companies. These transactions have to be reported within two days of the trade, so the transactions occurred sometime after the Thursday of the week prior to last week. We culled through these 540 or so insider buys and sells (based on 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 last week in the financial sector and the REIT group; notable based on the dollar amount sold, the number of insiders selling, and based on whether the overall buying or selling represents a strong pick-up based on historical buying and selling in the stock (for more info on how to interpret insider trades, please refer to the end of this article):

JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): JPM is a global financial company providing private, commercial, and investment banking and treasury services in over 60 countries. On Wednesday through Friday last week, four insiders filed SEC Forms 4 indicating that they sold a total of 105,066 shares for $3.8 million. This included Chief Administrative Officer Frank Bisignano (10,000 shares), EVP Gordon Smith (40,000 shares), Managing Director James Staley (55,000 shares), and General Counsel Stephen Cutler (66 shares); of these, the 55,000 shares sold by Managing Director Staley resulted from the exercise of options. Overall, insiders sold a total of 235,000 shares in the past year. JPM trades at a discount 7-8 forward P/E and 0.7 P/B compared to averages of 9.6 and 0.7 for the major regional banks group.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC): WFC is a diversified financial services holding company with 9,000 offices primarily in the U.S., and provides retail, commercial and corporate banking services. On Thursday, Sr. EVP David Carroll filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he sold 24,000 shares for $0.7 million, ending with 90,125 shares in direct and 629 shares in indirect holdings. Overall, insiders sold 151,224 shares in the past year. WFC trades at a discount 8-9 forward P/E, and at 1.1 P/B, compared to averages of 9.6 and 0.7 for the major regional banks group, which earnings are projected to rise at a 13.3% annual rate from $2.82 in 2011 to $3.62 in 2013.

Ventas Inc. (NYSE:VTR): VTR is a publicly-owned real estate investment trust (REIT) that engages in the investment, management, financing and leasing of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, senior housing facilities, medical office buildings, and other healthcare related facilities in the U.S. and Canada. On Friday, Director Richard Gilchrist filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he purchased 2,500 shares for $0.14 million, increasing his holdings to 10,987 shares (and options to purchase 7,520 shares). Overall, this is the first insider purchase in over four years. VTR has been a long-term outperformer, rising over 15-fold since 2000, and it currently trades at a current 18-19 P/E on a TTM basis and 1.7 P/B compared to averages of 13.8 and 1.2 for its peers in the equity trust REIT group.

DDR Corp. (NYSE:DDR): DDR is a REIT that acquires, develops, leases and manages shopping centers, mini-malls, and lifestyle centers across the U.S. On Friday, CEO Daniel Hurwitz filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he sold 21,396 shares for $0.3 million, pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan, ending with 0.66 million shares after the sale. Overall, insiders sold only an additional 12,900 shares in the past year. DDR trades at a current 14-15 P/E on a TTM basis and 1.4 P/B compared to averages of 7.3 and 0.9 for its peers in the mortgage trust REIT group.

On top of these, an additional large insider trade last week was a $1.0 million sale reported Friday, pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan, by EVP & General Counsel John Junek at financial planning and services company Ameriprise Financial Inc. (NYSE:AMP).

Credit: Fundamental data in this article were based on SEC filings, I-Metrix® by Edgar Online®, Zacks Investment Research, Thomson Reuters and Briefing.com. The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made.

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 Last Week's Noteworthy Insider Buys And Sells In Financial And REIT Groups