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Top Insider Trades 12/21/12: HMA, RAH, SLG, VMW

|Includes: CAG, Health Management Associates Inc. (HMA), SLG, 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, December 21, 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
Mann Alfred E CB,CEO,BO Mannkind MNKD JB* $103,600,000
Glenview Capital Mgt BO Health Mgt Assoc HMA B $45,621,036
Edelman & Guill Energy DIR,BO Postrock Energy PSTR JB* $6,499,999
Kessler Irvin R DIR Silver Bay Rlty Tr SBY JB* $5,550,000
EMC BO VMware VMW B $3,213,344
Des Pallieres Bertrand DIR Equus Total Ret EQS B $2,610,691
Rothblatt Martine A CEO,DIR United Therap UTHR AB $466,662
Ambergate Trust BO Ceres CERE B $381,250
Frost Phillip MD et al CEO,CB,BO Opko Health OPK B $294,938
Shapiro Marc J DIR Mexico Fund MXF B $286,486

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes

Insider Sales
Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Dollar Value
Meister Keith A DIR Ralcorp RAH JS*,S $117,947,972
Cook Scott D CB,DIR Intuit INTU S $24,744,952
Markel BO Union First Mkt Bank UBSH AS $11,603,760
Holliday Marc CEO,DIR Sl Green Realty SLG S,JS* $8,659,357
Yonce Donald BO Solarwinds SWI S $8,308,553
Todd C B DIR Mylan MYL AS $8,236,070
Roberts Brian L CB,PR,CEO Comcast CMCSA JS* $7,774,080
Luczo Stephen J CB,PR,CEO Seagate Technology STX AS $7,340,550
Toll Bruce E DIR Toll Brothers TOL S $6,447,280
Scott Richard L BO Argan AGX S $6,301,785

Source: | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes