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Top Insider Trades 10/24/12: APD, MSFT, MCEP, ASCMA

|Includes: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD), ASCMA, MCEP, MSFT

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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 24, 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
GMT Capital BO Entegris ENTG B $3,172,403
Smith Lawrence S DIR Air Products & Chem APD B $386,782
Malone John C BO Ascent Capital ASCMA AB $286,630
Corrado John J DIR Astoria Financial AF B $249,110
Empire Capital Mgt BO Sonus Networks SONS B $192,595
Frost Phillip MD CEO,CB,BO Opko Health OPK B $111,540
Sherman J Donald DIR Cypress Semi CY B $96,792
Barrett Michael Keith DIR Forum National Inv FMNL B $78,250
Adams Nicholas C FO First Opportunity Fund FOFI B $69,432
Cape Bear Partners BO Healthwarehouse Com HEWA JB* $50,000

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 $126,076,048
Leidel Peter A DIR Mid Con Energy Part MCEP JS* $73,260,000
Culp H Lawrence Jr PR,CEO,DIR Danaher DHR AS $14,144,540
Allison John W DIR Home Bancshares HOMB S $6,870,000
Shafran Joan K BO Forest City Ent FCEA JS* $4,406,445
Libenson Richard M DIR Costco Wholesale COST S $1,864,980
Schmit William PR Fleetcor Tech FLT AS $1,607,044
Gamson Michael VP Linkedin LNKD AS $1,068,267
Ta Assoc O MetroPCS Comms PCS AS $1,047,071
Stryker Ronda E DIR Stryker SYK AS $937,861

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes