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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.

In this article, I will focus on notable insider buy transactions (market cap greater than $250 million) filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 24, 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 ten percent of a class of the company's equity securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

1. Forest Laboratories, Inc (NYSE:FRX): Forest Laboratories develops, manufactures, and sells branded forms of ethical drug products primarily in the United States and Europe. Forest Laboratories has a market cap of $9.21 billion and is currently trading around $34.68 with a 52-week range of $28.47 to $36.44. The stock has gained 14.61% year to date.

According to SEC filings on August 24, 2012, Icahn Carl C (Beneficial Owner) purchased a total of 1,343,837 shares at a total value of $46,453,227. Please refer the footnotes from Form 4 for more information on the ownership. During this month, Carl Icahn also purchased 1,962,011 shares at a total value of $67,057,652. Forest Laboratories and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IRWD) submitted the New Drug Application for linaclotide for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic constipation.

On April 23, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended the PDUFA action date by three months to complete its review. Over the past three months, there have been a total of four insider transactions and all of them have been Buy transactions. The key financial metrics for Forest Laboratories are given below:

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

2. Molycorp, Inc (NYSE:MCP): Molycorp is a development stage company, engages in the production and sale of rare earth oxides in the western hemisphere. Molycorp has a market cap of $1.06 billion and is currently trading around $9.61 with a 52-week range of $9.56 to $58.74. The stock has fallen 59.92% year to date.

According to SEC filings on August 24, 2012, Molycorp had five insiders combine purchased a total of 2,590,000 shares at a total value of $25,900,000. Please refer the footnotes from Form 4 for more information on the ownership. On August 22, 2012, Molibdenos Y Metales S.A. (Beneficial Owner) purchased a total of 4,500,000 shares at a total value of $45,000,000.

Over the past three months, there have been a total of 8 insider transactions and all of them have been Buy transactions. The key financial metrics for Molycorp are given below:

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

3. Healthcare Trust Of America Inc (NYSE:HTA): Healthcare Trust of America is a fully integrated, self-administered, self-managed real estate investment trust. Healthcare Trust Of America has a market cap of $2.10 billion and is currently trading around $9.14 with a 52-week range of $9.08 to $10.05. The stock has fallen 7.58% year to date.

According to SEC filings on August 24, 2012, Wescombe Gary T (Director) purchased a total of 30,000 shares (Class A Common Stock) at a total value of $276,600. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 10 insider transactions with 7 Buy transactions. The key financial metrics for Healthcare Trust Of America are given below:

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

Other notable insider buy transactions (minimum transaction value of $100,000) filed with the SEC on August 24, 2012, are as follows:

4. First Citizens BancShares Inc (FCNCA): First Citizens BancShares Inc operates as the holding company for First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company that provides various banking products and services to retail and commercial customers in the United States. First Citizens BancShares has a market cap of $1.69 billion and is currently trading around $164.99 with a 52-week range of $137.10 to $187.72. The stock has fallen 5.71% year to date. According to SEC filings on August 24, 2012, First Citizens BancShares had two insiders (Holding Frank B & Holding Frank B Jr) combine purchased a total of 900 shares (Class B Common Stock) at a total value of $148,500.

5. Opko Health Inc (OPK): Opko Health is a pharmaceutical and diagnostics company, engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel and proprietary technologies primarily in the United States, Chile, and Mexico. Opko Health has a market cap of $1.35 billion and is currently trading around $4.52 with a 52-week range of $3.80to $5.85. The stock has fallen 7.76% year to date. According to SEC filings on August 22, 2012, Frost Phillip Md Et Al (CEO & Chairman) purchased a total of 32,500 shares at a total value of $144,771. Frost Phillip has been a buyer of this stock almost every day this year.

6. Harte-Hanks, Inc (NYSE:HHS): Harte-Hanks is a direct and targeted marketing company, provides direct marketing services and shopper advertising opportunities to local, regional, national, and international consumer and business-to-business marketers. Harte-Hanks Inc has a market cap of $441.14 million and is currently trading around $7 with a 52-week range of $6.16 to $10.24. The stock has fallen 22.99% year to date. According to SEC filings on August 24, 2012, Franklin Larry (President and CEO) purchased a total of 20,000 shares at a total value of $140,362.

7. First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE:FHN): First Horizon National Corp operates as a bank holding company for First Tennessee Bank National Association that provides various financial services. First Horizon National Corp has a market cap of $2.09 billion and is currently trading around $8.42 with a 52-week range of $5.38 to $10.99. The stock has gained 5.25% year to date. According to SEC filings on August 24, 2012, Gilchrist Corydon J (Director) purchased a total of 15,000 shares at a total value of $127,260.

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

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in MCP over the next 72 hours. I change my positions very frequently and may initiate either long or short positions in the above mentioned stocks at any time. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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: Insiders Bought These Shares On August 24