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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 multiple sectors (not detailed earlier in our coverage by sector); 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):

International Paper Co. (IP): IP is a paper and packaging company with worldwide operations, manufacturing containerboards, printing and writing papers, market pulp, and coated paperboard. On Wednesday, two insiders filed SEC Forms 4 indicating that they sold 19,750 shares for $0.6 million, pursuant to 10b5-1 plans. The sellers included SVP Timothy Nicholls (13,000 shares) and SVP Tommy Joseph (6,750 shares). Overall, insiders sold 47,750 shares in the past three months, and 0.39 million shares in the past year. IP trades at 10-11 forward P/E and 1.9 P/B compared to averages of 10.6 and 4.0 for its peers in the paper & related products group, while earnings are projected to rise at a 21.2% annual rate from $2.05 in 2010 to $3.01 in 2012.

Commercial Metals Company (CMC): CMC is engaged in the recycling, manufacturing, fabricating and distributing steel and metal products, and related materials and services for the construction, manufacturing and fabrication industries in the U.S. and internationally. On Thursday, Director Rick Mills filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he purchased 5,000 shares, increasing his holdings in the company to 6,000 shares. This is on top of the 9,500 shares that were reported just last week as being bought by three other insiders (Director Rhys Best, CFO Barbara Smith and SVP Ann Bruder), so that insiders bought a total of 14,500 shares in the past two weeks. In comparison, insiders bought only a total of 31,200 shares in the past year. Also, earlier we reported just last month that Carl Icahn filed an SC 13D/A at the end of November, in a bid to acquire the company. Subsequently, Mr. Icahn indicated on January 11th that he had ended his acquisition bid; CMC shares have collapsed 20%-25% following that announcement.

Cobalt International Energy (CIE): CIE is engaged in the exploration and production of oil primarily in the deepwater of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in offshore Angola and Gabon in West Africa. On Thursday, two insiders filed SEC Forms 4 indicating that they sold 128,775 shares for $2.6 million, pursuant to 10b5-1 plans. This included EVP James Painter (77,276 shares) and VP Lynne Hackedorn (51,499 shares). This is in addition to the three insiders selling a total of 0.48 million shares that we reported for December, so that overall insiders have sold 0.61 million shares in the last few weeks; in comparison, insiders sold 2.5 million shares in the past year. CIE shares have been up strongly recently, having more than doubled since mid-December when it started reporting positive major developments in its activities in West Africa.

Valence Technology Inc. (VLNC): VLNC develops, manufactures and sells safe and long-life lithium iron magnesium phosphate advanced energy storage solutions, powering a range of applications ranging from commercial electric vehicles to industrial and marine equipment. On Wednesday, Director & 10% owner Carl Berg filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he purchased 2.1 million shares for $2.0 million, the only buy by any insider in the past year.

Dicks Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS): DKS is leading sporting goods retailer in the U.S., operating over 470 Dick's Sporting Goods stores and over 80 Golf Galaxy stores. On Wednesday, four insiders filed SEC Forms 4 indicating that they exercised options and sold the resulting 189,250 shares for $7.6 million. The sellers included SVP of Human Resources Kathryn Sutter (11,250 shares) and Directors Lawrence Schorr (40,000 shares), William Colombo (100,000 shares) and Emanuel Chirico (38,000 shares). DKS has been one of the strongest long-term performers in the retail category, up over ten-fold in the last almost ten years, and the shares trade at a current 21 P/E on a TTM basis and 3.2 P/B compared to averages of 17.2 and 1.4 for its peers in the retail miscellaneous/diversified group, while earnings are projected to rise strong from $1.63 in 2011 to $2.37 in 2013 at a 20.3% annual growth rate.

Stamps.com Inc. (STMP): STMP provides internet-based postage solutions for mailing or shipping letters, packages or parcels, allowing individual customers and corporations to print US postage using any PC, any ordinary inkjet or laser printer, and an Internet connection. Also, their PhotoStamps™ product allows consumers and businesses to turn digital photos, designs or corporate logos into valid US postage. On Tuesday and Friday, Director and 10% owner Lloyd Miller filed SEC Forms 4 indicating that he sold a total of 299,645 shares for $8.9 million. Overall, insiders sold a total of 1.6 million shares in the past year. Its shares have almost tripled in the past year, as the company has reported stellar quarter results including the latest Q3 at the end of October in which the company beat earnings by 8c (37c v/s 29c). Currently, shares trade at a current 22.3 P/E on a TTM basis and 7.2 P/B compared to averages of 32.5 and 2.4 for its peers in the internet commerce group.

CBS Corp. (CBS): CBS is a global media company engaged in TV and radio broadcasting, motion picture production, publishing and advertising. On Thursday, CEO Leslie Moonves filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he exercised options and sold the resulting 300,000 shares for $8.5 million under a 10b5-1 plan. After the sale, CEO Moonves held 0.35 million shares in direct and another 1.6 million shares in indirect holdings. Also, overall, insiders sold a total of 3.2 million shares in the past year. CBS is approaching its highs, and it currently trades at 12-13 forward P/E and 1.9 P/B compared to averages of 11.1 and 1.5 in the media conglomerates group, while earnings are projected to grow strongly from $1.12 in 2010 to $2.26 in 2012 at an annual growth rate of 42.1%.

On top of these, some additional large insider trades last week included a $1.1 million sale reported Thursday by Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Osborne at management consulting, technology and outsourcing services provider Accenture Plc (ACN); a $0.9 million sale reported Friday, pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan, by EVP International & Service, Gregory Churchill, at aviation electronics and airborne and mobile communications products and systems provider for commercial and military applications Rockwell Collins Inc. (COL); a $1.2 million sale reported Wednesday, by former officer Andrew King at Torchmark Corp. (TMK), a provider of individual life and supplemental health insurance, including juvenile and senior life coverage; a $6.7 million sale reported Wednesday, pursuant to 10b5-1 plans, by CEO Richard Haddrill and COO Ramesh Srinivasan at Bally Technologies Inc. (BYI), a diversified gaming company that manufactures, and provides rental and lease services of, gaming machines and related equipment; a $1.3 million sale reported Wednesday, pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan, by EVP Joseph Mahaffee at Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), a leading provider of management and technology consulting to the U.S. government in the defense, intelligence and civil markets; a $1.7 million sale reported Friday by COO Ronald Rice at RPM International Inc. (RPM), a provider of specialty paints, protective coatings and roofing systems, sealants and adhesives, for use in both industrial and commercial applications; a $2.1 million sale reported Friday by two insiders, EVP Daniel McCarthy and COO Lasse Petterson, both pursuant to 10b5-1 plans, at heavy construction services provider, primarily to energy and natural resource industries, Netherlands-based Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CBI); a $1.1 million sale reported Wednesday by SVP Scott Crutchfield at Crocs, Inc. (CROX), a provider of footwear for men, women and children, made from a proprietary closed-cell resin material which it calls Croslite; a $5.5 million sale reported Friday by CEO Thomas Folliard at used car dealerships operator Carmax Inc. (KMX); a $8.3 million sale reported Friday by Executive Chairman Brent Richardson and General Counsel Christopher Richardson, both pursuant to 10b5-1 plans, at regionally accredited provider of online postsecondary educations services Grand Canyon Education Inc. (LOPE); a $1.2 million sale reported Thursday and Friday by CFO Armand Correia and SVP & General Counsel Gene Wexler at Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), an operator of national women's apparel and accessories retail store chain The Dress Barn; a $1.8 million sale reported Friday, pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan, by Chairman & CEO Ralph Lauren at premium apparel, accessories, fragrances, and home furnishings provider Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL); a $4.6 million sale reported Thursday by insiders CEO Gregory Henslee, CFO Thomas McFall, and COO Ted Wise at automotive parts store chain operator O'Reilly Automotive Inc. (ORLY); a $34.7 million sale reported Thursday, pursuant to 10b5-1 plans, by Chairman & CEO Rodney Sacks and Vice-Chairman & President Hilton Schlosberg at alternative beverage provider Monster Beverage Corp. (MNST), that makes natural sodas, fruit juices and juice cocktails; and a $2.1 million sale reported Thursday, pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan, by VP John Gasparovic at Borg Warner Inc. (BWA), a leading manufacturer of highly engineered automotive systems and components primarily for power-train applications worldwide.

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 Multiple Sectors