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Top Insider Trades 12/17/12: LAWS, NGL, MAR, CGNX

|Includes: CGNX, Lawson Products, Inc. (LAWS), MAR, NGL

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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, December 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
Port Ronald B DIR,BO Lawson Products LAWS JB* $5,074,997
Krimbill H Michael CEO,CFO,DIR Ngl Energy Part NGL JB*,B $3,269,927
Abrams Capital Mgt BO Engility EGL B $2,660,000
Laukien Frank H CEO,DIR,BO Bruker BRKR JB* $734,130
Malone John C BO Ascent Capital ASCMA JB* $560,006
Crocker Gary L DIR Merrimack Pharm MACK B $247,215
Frost Phillip MD CEO,CB,BO Opko Health OPK B $183,451
Kucherlapati Raju S DIR Aveo Pharm AVEO B $101,034
Lola Brown Tru BO First Opp Fund FOFI B $94,948
Simberg Bruce CB,DIR Federated Natl FNHC JB* $90,483

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes

Insider Sales
Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Dollar Value
Marriott Richard E BO Marriott Intl MAR S $8,054,447
Illig Clifford W VCB,DIR Cerner CERN S $7,728,540
Shillman Robert J CB,DIR Cognex CGNX S $7,221,573
O Driscoll Rory DIR Exacttarget ET S $6,756,906
MDV VII BO Proofpoint PFPT JS* $5,211,650
Doerr L John DIR Google GOOG AS $5,000,385
Piccolo C A DIR Cvs Caremark CVS S $4,845,646
Slaggie Stephen M DIR Fastenal FAST S $4,304,450
McCarthy Margaret VP,OO,TO Aetna AET S $4,024,446
Foley William P II DIR Fidelity Natl Info FIS S $2,962,864

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes