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Top Insider Trades 8/27/12: SONS, URBN, PRSC, RCII

|Includes: PRSC, Ribbon Communications Inc. (RBBN), RCII, URBN

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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 Monday, August 27, 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
Empire Capital Mgt BO Sonus Networks SONS B $1,065,136
Coliseum Capital Mgt DIR,BO Providence Service PRSC B $772,819
Brandon Joseph Patrick VP Alleghany Y B $498,449
Ashner Michael L CB,CEO,BO Winthrop Realty Trust FUR B $239,440
Mercer D Scott DIR Polycom PLCM B $237,750
Frost Phillip MD et al CEO,CB,BO Opko Health OPK B $213,385
Duncan Ronald A PR,DIR General Communication GNCMA B $164,980
Brown Tod D VP,PR Ferrellgas Partners FGP JB* $104,670
Nicholson James Bruce DIR Dte Energy DTE B $100,242
Quigley James H DIR Merrimack Pharm MACK B $94,360

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes

Insider Sales
Belair Scott A DIR Urban Outfitters URBN S $19,017,240
Kellogg W K Foundation BO Kellogg K AS $10,290,900
Speese Mark E CB,CEO,DIR Rent A Center RCII S $7,202,240
1992 Grat Trust William Lauder TT,BO Estee Lauder EL AS $5,016,451
Dubin Thomas I H VP,LO Alexion Pharm ALXN AS $3,463,578
Barton Richard N CB,DIR,BO Zillow Z S $3,129,446
Kearl Jeff DIR Skullcandy SKUL S $2,314,674
Oliver Walter M VP General Dynamics GD S $2,199,959
Roberts William VP,LO Regeneron Pharm REGN AS $2,160,000
Keane John J VP Nordson NDSN S $1,747,264

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes