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Top Insider Trades 10/17/12: THC, RMTR, DVAX, ASCMA

|Includes:ASCMA, CY, DVAX, Tenet Healthcare Corporation (THC)

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In a victory for common sense, the trading behavior of company executives, directors, and large shareholders in the stocks of firms they're registered "insiders" at have been proven profitable to monitor by both academic studies and (more importantly) the experience of professional investors.

Below are lists of the top 10 mainly open-market insider purchases and sales filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, October 17, 2012 as ranked by dollar value.

Please note, however, that these are factual lists (with edits to remove some noise), not buy and sell recommendations. Dollar value is only one metric to assess the importance of an insider transaction, and, frankly, often not even the most important metric that determines if an insider transaction is significant.

We should also point out that we are presently in a slow filing time for insiders because many companies still have their trading windows closed to their executives until their June quarter earnings are released.

But at, we find new investment ideas just about every day using these and more intricate insider screens to determine where we should focus our subsequent fundamental and technical analysis. And while stocks don't (or shouldn't) move up or down based on insider activity alone, insiders tend to be good indicators of when real stock-moving events like earnings surprises, corporate actions, and new products may be in the offing.

So use these regular blog posts as the initial research tools they are meant to be, and click the links in the tables to analyze a company's or insider's full insider history. Also feel free to email with any questions on our proprietary insider data, and how it is best analyzed.

Insider Purchases
Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Dollar Value
Glenview Capital Mgt BO Tenet Healthcare THC B $10,394,086
Cypress Semiconductor DIR,BO Ramtron Intl RMTR JB* $6,123,343
Abrams Capital Mgt BO Engility EGL B $918,940
Malone John C BO Ascent Capital ASCMA AB $288,715
Empire Capital Mgt BO Sonus Networks SONS B $285,319
Webster William M Iv DIR Golub Capital Bdc GBDC B $155,800
Adams Nicholas C FO First Opp Fund FOFI B $107,108
Wit Cornelis F CEO,DIR Omnicomm Sys OMCM JB* $75,158
Simmons Harold C CB,DIR,BO Valhi VHI B $48,800
Lim James BO Exacttarget ET B $43,520
Click to enlarge

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes

Insider Sales
Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Dollar Value
Kessel Mark DIR Dynavax Tech DVAX AS $28,356,000
Kellogg W K Found BO Kellogg K AS $12,066,866
Alta Biopharma Part BO Aegerion Pharm AEGR S $3,679,057
Lanier J Reese Sr DIR Oxford Industries OXM S $2,582,165
Williams Jeffrey E VP Apple AAPL AS $2,579,633
Enterprise Networks BO Incontact SAAS S $1,859,998
Seltzer David S CEO,DIR,BO Hi Tech Pharmacal HITK S $1,637,607
Rosenblatt M Richard CEO,CB,DIR Demand Media DMD AS $1,516,312
Christensen Christopher PR,CEO,DIR Ensign ENSG AS $1,441,002
Barnett Jeffrey G VP,OO Demandware DWRE AS $1,437,356
Click to enlarge

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes