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There are many different strategies to trade stocks and one of them is to find 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 insights into the growth of the company and its proceedings. While there are many reasons for insiders to sell their shares, there is only one reason to buy. That said, investors generally look for insiders selling patterns to get better insights into a company.

In this article, I will focus on notable insider sell transactions from mid-cap and large-cap companies (market cap greater than $2 billion) filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 21, 2012. I have also included the key financial metrics for the first three 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 10 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 whenand 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. Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS): Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. provides banking and payments technology solutions worldwide. Fidelity National Information Services has a market cap of $9.42 billion and is currently trading around $31.98 with a 52-week range of $22.53 to $34.85. The stock has gained 20.27% year to date.

According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Hagerty Thomas M (Director) sold a total of 2,439,399 shares at a total value of $75,987,279. Please refer the footnotes from Form 4 for more information on the ownership. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 19 insider transactions with 17 Sell transactions. Key financial metrics for Fidelity National Information Services is given below:

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

2. Reynolds American, Inc (RAI): Reynolds American manufactures and sells cigarette and other tobacco products in the United States. Reynolds American has a market cap of $25.90 billion and is currently trading around $45.8 with a 52-week range of $35.50 to $46.93. The stock has gained 10.57% year to date.

According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Brown & Williamson Holdings Inc (Beneficial Owner) sold a total of 630,660 shares at a total value of $29,250,011. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 7 insider transactions and all of them are Sell transactions. Key financial metrics for Reynolds American is given below:

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

3. The Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS): The Gap Inc operates as a specialty retailer. The company offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta brand names. Gap Inc has a market cap of $17.28 billion and is currently trading around $35.32 with a 52-week range of $15.08 to $36.23. The stock has gained 90.4% year to date.

According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Gap Inc had two insiders combine sold a total of 41,344 shares at a total value of $1,472,265. Multiple insider selling are usually a negative sign. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 9 insider transactions and all of them are Sell transactions. Key financial metrics for Gap Inc is given below:

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

Other notable insider selling transactions (minimum transaction value of $250,000) from large-cap and mid-cap companies filed at the SEC on August 21, 2012, are as follows:

4. Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK): Stryker Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a medical technology company. Stryker Corporation has a market cap of $20.66 billion and is currently trading around $54.3 with a 52-week range of $43.73 to $57.15. The stock has gained 9.23% year to date. According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Stryker Ronda E (Director) sold a total of 27,000 shares at a total value of $1,471,692, through Rule 10b5-1 trading plan.

5. 3M Company (NYSE:MMM): 3M Company operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. 3M Co has a market cap of $64.44 billion and is currently trading around $93.21 with a 52-week range of $68.63 to $94.30. The stock has gained 14.05% year to date. According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Palensky Fred J (Executive Vice President R&D & Chief Technology Officer) sold a total of 15,112 shares at a total value of $1,417,531. On August 15, 2012, 3M Co declared a quarterly dividend of $0.59 per share and the Ex-Dividend date is August 22, 2012, Record date is August 24, 2012 and the dividend payout date is September 12, 2012.

6. AvalonBay Communities, Inc (NYSE:AVB): AvalonBay Communities engages in the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership, and operation of multifamily communities in the United States. AvalonBay Communities has a market cap of $13.72 billion and is currently trading around $141.55 with a 52-week range of $107.54 to $151.23. The stock has gained 8.38% year to date. According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Blair Bryce (Chairman of the Board) sold a total of 5,718 shares at a total value of $808,525, through Rule 10b5-1 trading plan.

7. Darling International Inc (NYSE:DAR): Darling International provides rendering, cooking oil, and bakery waste recycling and recovery solutions to the food industry. Darling International has a market cap of $2.01 billion and is currently trading around $17.07 with a 52-week range of $11.24 to $18.22. The stock has gained 28.44% year to date. According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Griffin Martin W (Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Griffin Industries LLC, a subsidiary of Darling International Inc) sold a total of 40,000 shares at a total value of $683,640.

8. Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL): Ball Corporation supplies metal packaging products for the beverage, food, personal care, and household products industries in the United States and internationally. Ball Corporation has a market cap of $6.57 billion and is currently trading around $42.43 with a 52-week range of $29.69 to $43.70. The stock has gained 18.82% year to date. According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Bradford Douglas K (Vice President Financial Reporting & Tax) sold a total of 15,000 shares at a total value of $641,301.

9. JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM): JPMorgan Chase & Co is a financial holding company, provides various financial services worldwide. JPMorgan has a market cap of $144.50 billion and is currently trading around $38.04 with a 52-week range of $27.85 to $46.49. The stock has gained 14.41% year to date. According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Petno Douglas B (Managing Director) sold a total of 15,337 shares at a total value of $582,827, through Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. On August 21, 2012, Dafiti (Brazil's largest fashion e-commerce retailer) announced that JPMorgan Asset Management will invest USD 45 million in the company.

10. Ametek Inc (NYSE:AME): Ametek Inc manufactures and sells electronic instruments and electromechanical devices in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. Ametek Inc has a market cap of $8.36 billion and is currently trading around $34.47 with a 52-week range of $20.58 to $35.20. The stock has gained 22.67% year to date. According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Varet Elizebeth R (Director) sold a total of 10,000 shares at a total value of $340,182.

11. Morningstar, Inc (NASDAQ:MORN): Morningstar Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides independent investment research to investors worldwide. Morningstar has a market cap of $2.80 billion and is currently trading around $57.87 with a 52-week range of $53.72 to $63.57. The stock has fallen 2.66% year to date. According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Phillips Donald James II (President, Research) sold a total of 5,000 shares at a total value of $288,055, through Rule 10b5-1 trading plan.

12. Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE:EPR): Entertainment Properties Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT), develops, owns, leases, and finances entertainment and related properties in the United States and Canada. Entertainment Properties Trust has a market cap of $2.12 billion and is currently trading around $45.24 with a 52-week range of $35.97 to $48.49. The stock has gained 3.5% year to date. According to SEC filing on August 21, 2012, Peterson Mark Alan (SVP and CFO) sold a total of 6,000 shares at a total value of $273,899. Please refer the footnotes from Form 4 for more information on this transaction.

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

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: 12 Notable Large-Cap And Mid-Cap Insider Sells Filed On August 21