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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 insider 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 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 10% 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. Kohl's Corporation (KSS): Kohl's operates department stores in the United States. Its stores offer private, exclusive, and national branded apparel, footwear, and accessories for women, men, and children; soft home products, such as sheets and pillows; and housewares targeted to middle-income customers. Kohl's has a market cap of $12.59 billion and is currently trading around $52.5 with a 52-week range of $42.14 to $56.66. The stock has gained 6.38% year to date.

According to a SEC filing on August 24, 2012, Kohl's had three insiders combine sold a total of 1,443,982 shares at a total value of $74,385,550. Multiple insider selling are usually a negative sign. On August 9, 2012, Kohl's reported its second quarter results with a net income of $240 million ($1.00 per diluted share) compared to $299 million ($1.08 per diluted share) a year ago and a revenue of $4.2 billion, a decrease of 1.0% for the quarter. Also, Kohls declared a quarterly dividend of $0.32 per share and the dividend will be payable on September 26, 2012, to stockholders of record on September 5, 2012, with an ex-dividend date of August 31, 2012. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 22 insider transactions with four Sell transactions. Key financial metrics for Kohl's is given below:

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

2. Western Refining, Inc (WNR): Western Refining operates as an independent crude oil refiner and marketer of refined products. Western Refining has a market cap of $2.38 billion and is currently trading around $26.2 with a 52-week range of $11.17 to $27.89. The stock has gained 97.14% year to date.

According to a SEC filing on August 24, 2012, WRC Refining Co (General Partner of Partnership) sold a total of 807,302 shares at a total value of $21,570,485. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 43 insider transactions and all of them are Sell transactions. Key financial metrics for Western Refining is given below:

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

3. Intuit Inc (INTU): Intuit provides business and financial management solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, consumers, accounting professionals, and financial institutions primarily in the United States, Canada, India, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Intuit has a market cap of $17.16 billion and is currently trading around $58.43 with a 52-week range of $44.44 to $62.33. The stock has gained 11.1% year to date.

According to a SEC filing on August 24, 2012, Intuit had three insiders combine sold a total of 302,393 shares at a total value of $17,594,948, through Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. Please refer to the footnotes from the Form 4 for more information on the ownership. On August 21, 2012, Intuit announced its fourth quarter financial results with an increased revenue of $651 million and earnings per share (EPS) of $0.03. Intuit declared a 13% increase in the quarterly cash dividend, from $0.15 per share to $0.17 per share, to be paid October 18, 2012. UBS maintained a BUY rating on Intuit and increased the price target from $63 to of $67. Over the past three months, there have been a total of 22 insider transactions and all of them are Sell transactions. Key financial metrics for Intuit 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 $400,000) from large-cap and mid-cap companies filed at the SEC on August 24, 2012, are as follows:

4. Facebook Inc (FB): Facebook Inc operates as a social networking company worldwide. Facebook has a market cap of $41.58 billion and is currently trading around $19.41 with a 52-week range of $18.75 to $45.00. The stock has fallen 48.92% year to date. According to a SEC filing on August 24, 2012, Moskovitz, Dustin A (Beneficial Owner) sold a total of 450,000 shares (Class A common stock) at a total value of $8,738,085. Please refer the footnotes from Form 4 for more information on the ownership.

5. Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG): The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company engages in manufacturing, marketing, and selling lawn and garden care products worldwide. Scotts Miracle-Gro has a market cap of $2.57 billion and is currently trading around $42.07 with a 52-week range of $35.49 to $55.95. The stock has fallen 9.9% year to date. According to a SEC filing on August 24, 2012, Hagedorn, James (Chairman and CEO) sold a total of 151,172 shares at a total value of $6,433,447.

6. Axis Capital Holdings Limited (AXS): AXIS Capital Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, provides various insurance and reinsurance products to insureds and reinsureds worldwide. Axis Capital Holdings has a market cap of $4.30 billion and is currently trading around $33.74 with a 52-week range of $24.80 to $35.12. The stock has gained 5.57% year to date. According to a SEC filing on August 24, 2012, Gressier, John (CEO, AXIS Insurance) sold a total of 75,000 shares at a total value of $2,526,600.

7. Commerce Bancshares, Inc (CBSH): Commerce Bancshares Inc operates as the bank holding company for Commerce Bank, N.A. that provides various general banking services to individuals and businesses Commerce Bancshares has a market cap of $3.46 billion and is currently trading around $39.5 with a 52-week range of $31.49 to $41.28. The stock has gained 3.62% year to date. According to a SEC filing on August 24, 2012, Kemper, David W (Chairman of the Board, CEO) sold a total of 49,973 shares at a total value of $1,978,965.

8. Ecolab Inc (ECL): Ecolab develops and markets programs, products, and services for the hospitality, food service, healthcare, industrial, and energy markets. Ecolab has a market cap of $19.46 billion and is currently trading around $66.52 with a 52-week range of $47.27 to $68.96. The stock has gained 15.07% year to date. According to a SEC filing on August 24, 2012, Miller, James A (ExVP & Pres. GlobalServ &Spec) sold a total of 26,257 shares at a total value of $1,750,680.

9. Stryker Corporation (SYK): Stryker Corporation operates as a medical technology company. The company operates in three segments: Reconstructive, MedSurg, and Neurotechnology and Spine. Stryker Corporation has a market cap of $20.44 billion and is currently trading around $53.74 with a 52-week range of $44.55 to $57.15. The stock has gained 8.11% year to date. According to a SEC filing on August 24, 2012, Stryker, Ronda E (Director) sold a total of 27,000 shares at a total value of $1,445,086, through Rule 10b5-1 trading plan.

10. Macerich Company (MAC): The Macerich Company is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. Macerich Company has a market cap of $7.87 billion and is currently trading around $59.65 with a 52-week range of $38.64 to $62.83. The stock has gained 17.89% year to date. According to a SEC filing on August 24, 2012, Hubbell, Fred S (Director) sold a total of 17,000 shares at a total value of $998,512. Please refer the footnotes from Form 4 for more information on the ownership.

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: 10 Notable Large-Cap And Mid-Cap Insider Sales Filed On August 24