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We present here noteworthy buys and sells from Friday's (March 16th, 2012) SEC Form 4 (insider trading) filings (ex-healthcare & tech sectors, and ex-basic materials & energy sectors that were covered in separate articles, that can be accessed from our author page), as part of our daily and weekly coverage of insider trades. These were selected by a review of over 360 separate SEC Form 4 transactions filed by insiders on Friday. The filings are noteworthy based on the dollar amount sold, the number of insiders buying or 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):

AFLAC Inc. (NYSE:AFL): AFL is a provider of health, accident, disability and life insurance in the U.S. and Japan. On Friday, CFO Kriss Cloninger filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he sold 25,000 shares for $1.2 million, ending with 0.35 million shares in direct and indirect holdings after the sale. In comparison, insider sold 79,000 shares in the past year. AFL shares trade at discount 6-7 forward P/E, and at 1.6 P/B, compared to averages of 14.2 and 1.4 respectively for the accident and health insurance 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, three insiders filed SEC Forms 4 indicating that they sold 60,000 shares for $0.9 million. In comparison, insiders sold 0.56 million shares in the past year. DDR reported an in-line Q4 last Thursday, and its shares trade at a current 13.4 P/E and 1.5 P/B compared to averages of 7.8 and 1.1 for its peers in the mortgage trust REIT group.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG): PFG offers life, health and disability insurance, and it also provides retirement services, annuities, residential mortgage loan origination, and related financial services. On Friday, five insiders filed SEC Forms 4 indicating that they exercised options and sold the resulting 10,000 shares for $0.29 million. In comparison, insiders sold 58,101 shares in the past year. PFG has a dividend yield of 2.5% versus the 1.9% average for its peers in the multi-line insurance group, and it also trades at a discount 8-9 forward P/E versus the 9.1 average for the group.

On top of these, additional large insider sales reported on Friday included:

  • a $9.1 million sale by Chairman & CEO Stephen Wilson, pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan, at CF Industries Holdings (NYSE:CF), a manufacturer of phosphate fertilizers, including urea, ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate in North America;
  • an $8.0 million sale by three insiders, all from the Marriott family, at hotel chain Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR);
  • a $7.4 million sale by two insiders at Petsmart Inc. (NASDAQ:PETM), an operator of a retail chain of stores selling products, services and solutions for pets;
  • a $7.3 million sale by Director Edwin Banks at CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE:CVS), a leading integrated pharmacy services provider in the U.S. that includes the nation's largest pharmacy chain with over 7,100 pharmacy drugstores in 41 states and D.C., and also a provider of pharmacy benefit management services to employers, insurance companies, unions, government employee groups, managed care organizations and other sponsors of health benefit plans, as well as to individuals;
  • a $4.9 million sale by Vice Chairman Peter Mead at Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC), that provides advertising, customer relationship management, public relations and communications services worldwide;
  • a $4.9 million sale by CFO Bradley Singer at worldwide media and entertainment company Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA);
  • a $3.9 million sale by President Gary Flood at Mastercard Inc. (NYSE:MA), a provider of global payment solutions in support of the credit and debit payment programs of 23,000 financial institutions;
  • a $2.8 million sale by four insiders at Torchmark Corp. (NYSE:TMK), a provider of individual life and supplemental health insurance, including juvenile and senior life coverage;
  • a $2.3 million sale by two insiders at Macerich Co. (NYSE:MAC), a REIT that is engaged in the acquisition, ownership, development, redevelopment, management and leasing of regional and community shopping centers, with 6,000 of the 42,291 shares sold pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan;
  • a $1.7 million sale by two insiders, pursuant to 10b5-1 plans, at Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF), a provider of consumer and commercial lending, credit card products and automobile financing;
  • a $1.6 million sale by Director William Foley at Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (NYSE:FIS), that is a provider of banking and payment technology solutions to financial institutions and merchants worldwide, including credit, debit and merchant card processing, e-banking, check risk management and check cashing services;
  • a $1.6 million sale by Director Stephen Slaggie at Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ:FAST), a wholesaler and retailer of industrial and construction supplies sold through 2,566 stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Singapore and China; and
  • a $1.4 million sale by President Demos Parneros at Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS), an office products company that sells various office supplies and services, business machines, computers, and office furniture, and it also provides high-speed, color and self-service copying, other printing services, faxing, and pack and ship services.

Furthermore, insiders also reported noteworthy buys on Friday in:

  • Primoris Services Corp. (NASDAQ:PRIM), a specialty contractor and infrastructure company, providing a range of construction, fabrication, maintenance, replacement, water and wastewater, and product engineering services in the United States and internationally, in which five insiders purchased 18,787 shares for $0.21 million, in comparison to less than 26,000 shares purchased by insiders in the past year;
  • Dynex Capital Inc. (NYSE:DX), a mortgage REIT that invests in residential and mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by a federally chartered corporation, non-agency mortgage-backed securities, and securitized mortgage loans, as well as unsecuritized single-family and commercial mortgage loans, in which Director James Wheat purchased 20,000 shares for $0.19 million, in comparison to 0.15 million shares purchased by insiders in the past year; and
  • office supply store chain operator Office Depot Inc. (NYSE:ODP), in which Director Nigel Travis purchased 15,000 shares for $51,900, in comparison to 0.13 million shares purchased by insiders in the past year.

Credit: Fundamental data in this article were based on SEC filings, 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 Friday's Noteworthy Insider Trades