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There are many different strategies to trade stocks and one of them is to find the insider trading of stocks. When corporate insiders trade in their own securities, they must report their trades to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), usually within a few business days of the trade. Insider trading cannot be based on material non-public information. However, many investors believe that corporate insiders may have better insight into the growth of the company and its proceedings.

In this article, I will focus on notable insider buy transactions from mid-cap and large-cap companies (market cap greater than $2 billion) filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 17, 2012. I have also included the key financial metrics for each of the companies. You can use this list as a potential starting point for your analysis.

Definition of Insider: Corporate insiders are either a company's officers, directors, or any beneficial owners of more than ten percent of a class of the company's equity securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Rule 10b5-1 Definition: A rule established by the SEC that allows insiders of publicly-traded corporations to create a trading plan of when and how to buy or sell shares in that company. Rule 10b5-1 allows major holders to buy or sell a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined time. 10b5-1 plans are used by many corporate insiders to avoid the accusations of insider trading, regardless of what nonpublic knowledge he/she may later come to possess.

1. Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST): Fastenal Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a wholesaler and retailer of industrial and construction supplies in the United States and internationally. Fastenal has a market cap of $12.83 billion and is currently trading around $43.33 with a 52-week range of $29.14 to $55.05. The stock has fallen 0.64% year to date.

According to SEC filings on July 17, 2012, Kierlin Robert A (Director) sold a total of 100,000 shares at a total value of $4,315,540. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 12 insider transactions with four sell transactions. The key financial metrics for Fastenal are given below:

The following chart provides the insider trading summary for three-month and 12-month periods.

2. Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC): Wells Fargo & Company, through its subsidiaries, provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services primarily in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Community Banking; Wholesale Banking; and Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement.Wells Fargo has a market cap of $181.31 billion and is currently trading around $34.12 with a 52-week range of $22.58 to $34.59.The stock has gained 23.8% year to date.

According to SEC filing on July 17, 2012, Wells Fargo had two insiders combine sold a total of 27,000 shares at a total value of $922,713. Multiple insider selling are usually a negative sign. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 19 insider transactions with 13 Sell transactions. The key financial metrics for Wells Fargo are given below:

The following chart provides the insider trading summary for three-month and 12-month periods.

3. Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE:CCI): Crown Castle International Corp., together with is subsidiaries, owns, operates, and leases shared wireless infrastructure primarily in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Australia. Crown Castle has a market cap of $17.66 billion and is currently trading around $60.26 with a 52-week range of $37.53 to $60.91. The stock has gained 34.51% year to date.

According to SEC filing on July 17, 2012, Young James D (SVP & Chief Operating Officer) sold a total of 19,150 shares at a total value of $1,148,696 through Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. The current stock price is fairly close to its 52-week high. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 13 insider transactions with 12 Sell transactions.

The key financial metrics for Crown Castle International Corp are given below:

The following chart provides the insider trading summary for three-month and 12-month periods.

4. MSC Industrial Direct Co Inc (NYSE:MSM): MSC Industrial Direct operates as a direct marketer and distributor of metalworking and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) products to industrial customers in the United States. MSC Industrial Direct has a market cap of $4.08 billion and is currently trading around $65.01 with a 52-week range of $49.72 to $84.76. The stock has fallen 9.14% year to date.

According to SEC filings on July 17, 2012, Jacobson Mitchell (Director & Beneficial Owner) sold a total of 6,400 shares at a total value of $411,764. Please refer to the footnote in Form 4 for more details on the ownership. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 8 insider transactions with 6 Sell transactions. The key financial metrics for MSC Industrial Direct are given below:

The following chart provides the insider trading summary for three-month and 12-month periods.

Sources: Some of the data is sourced from Google Finance, Nasdaq, Finviz, Fidelity, and SEC.gov.

Additional Disclosure: I change my positions very frequently and may initiate either long or short positions in the above mentioned stocks at any time.

Disclaimer: I am not a registered investment advisor and do not provide specific investment advice. The information contained herein 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. It is up to investors to make the correct decision after necessary research. The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made.

Source: Notable Large-Cap And Mid-Cap Insider Sells Filed On July 17