More Videos:

Top Insider Trades: HCA RFP HTZ HRG

Tickers in this article: HCA HRG HTZ RFP

By Jonathan Moreland, founder of Insider Insights and author of Profit From Legal Insider Trading.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It is a victory for common sense. Tracking the trading behavior of company executives, directors and large shareholders in the stocks of firms they're registered in as "insiders" has proven to be profitable, according to 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 Tuesday, December 18, 2012 as ranked by dollar value. Please note, however, that these are only factual lists, 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.

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 Top Insider Trades columns 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 contact us with any questions on our proprietary insider data, and how it is best analyzed.

Resolute Forest Pr ( RFP) Fairfax Finl BO919,52111,192,042
VMware ( VMW) EMCBO68,9756,416,195
Nustar Gp ( NSH) Greehey William E DIR,BO63,5001,816,454
Lhc ( LHCG) Coliseum Capital DIR,BO44,100903,609
American Pacific ( APFC) Mill Road Capital BO25,794322,296
Gtx ( GTXI) Sear Timothy DIR50,000216,350
Opko Health ( OPK) Frost Phillip MD CEO,CB,BO40,000184,978
Spark Networks ( LOV) Osmium Partners BO21,676153,092
Fluidigm ( FLDM) Jones Evan DIR10,000143,585
Thestreet ( TST) Martin William C BO86,045141,943
Source: Insider Insights
HCA ( HCA) KKR Millennium BO15,286,241504.44 M
HCA ( HCA) Bain Capital BO15,033,063496.09 M
Hertz Global ( HTZ) Carlyle Mgt BO16,985,356267.85 M
Harbinger ( HRG) Harbinger Capital BO20,010,000150,075,008
Ralcorp ( RAH) Meister Keith A DIR883,45678,811,960
Fidelity Natl ( FIS) Hagerty Thomas DIR1,235,93243,745,620
Tile Shop ( TTS) Nabron Intl BO2,613,15037,041,400
Solarwinds ( SWI) Yonce Donald BO347,13118,850,594
Tile Shop ( TTS) Rucker Robert A CEO,DIR
Ralph Lauren ( RL) Lauren Family BO100,00015,005,088
Source: Insider Insights

Key to Titles: A=Assistant, AI=Affiliated Investor, AO=Accounting Officer, BD=Business Development, BO=Beneficial Owner, CAO=Chief Accounting Officer, CB=Chairman, CCO=Chief Compliance Officer, CEO=Chief Executive Officer, CFO=Chief Financial Officer, CIO=Chief Information Officer, CO=Compliance Officer, COO=Chief Operating Officer, CT=Controller, CTO=Chief Technology Officer, DIR=Director, EVP=Executive Vice President, F=Founder, FO=Financial Officer, GC=General Counsel, HR=Human Resources, IO=Information Officer, IR=Investor Relations, LO=Legal Officer, MD=Managing Director, O=Officer, OO=Operating Officer, PR=President, PT=Partner, REL=Relative of an insider, SEC=Secretary, SH=Shareholder, SO=Sales Officer, TO=Technology Officer, TR=Treasurer, TT=Trustee, VCB=Vice Chairman, VP=Vice President, X=Ex Officer or other title displayed.