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Top Insider Trades 10/26/12: VMW, ITW, DVA, COST

|Includes:COST, DVA, ITW, VMware, Inc. (VMW)

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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 Friday, October 26, 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
Berkshire Hathaway BO Davita DVA B $28,667,994
Grosfeld James DIR Blackrock BLK B $7,842,677
EMC BO VMware VMW B $3,766,372
Biglari Sardar BO Cracker Barrel CBRL B $2,016,157
Koenig Theodore L CEO,PR,CB Monroe Capital MRCC JB* $1,000,005
SPH Group BO Dgt DGTC JB* $502,215
Starboard Value BO Wausau Paper WPP B $426,648
McDonald Robert A CB,PR,CEO Procter & Gamble PG B $390,252
Van Vlack John P PR,DIR Home Loan Svg HLSS B $277,250
Rubin Robert S DIR Monroe Capital MRCC JB* $247,500

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes

Insider Sales
Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Dollar Value
Gates William H III DIR Microsoft MSFT AS $126,117,904
Schmidt Eric E CB,DIR Google GOOG AS $33,885,613
McCormack RC DIR Illinois Tool Works ITW S $7,744,695
Kellogg W K Fdn BO Kellogg K AS $1,309,325
VA Retirement Sys BO Blackrock Kelso Cap BKCC S $1,072,791
Zook Dennis R VP Costco Wholesale COST S $1,059,155
Stryker Ronda E DIR Stryker SYK AS $943,475
Barnes Leroy Jr DIR Herbalife HLF AS $910,686
Bailey Gregory DIR Medivation MDVN AS $900,480
Utterberg David S DIR,BO Nxstage Medical NXTM AS $695,900

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes