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Top Insider Trades: MCP, VMW, PCS, OSK

Tickers in this article: MCP OSK PCS VMW

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 Thursday, January 31, 2013 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.

Molycorp ( MCP) Molibdenos Y Metales BO15,000,00090,000,000
VMware ( VMW) EMCBO256,01019,983,032
Liposcience ( LPDX) Three Arch Capital BO215,0001,935,000
Univ Stnls ( USAP) Pennant Capital Mgt BO6,300217,630
Valhi ( VHI) Simmons Harold C CB,DIR,BO10,000156,005
Visualant ( VSUL) Erickson Ronald P CEO,DIR1,652,000136,290
Newmarket ( NEU) Gambill Mark M DIR500128,035
Moog ( MOGA) Johnson Warren C VP2,300102,971
Visualant ( VSUL) Pepper Jon DIR1,000,00082,500
Sun Bncrp ( SNBC) Brugger Thomas R VP,CFO20,00068,619
Source: Insider Insights
Google ( GOOG) Schmidt Eric E CB,DIR71,19353,579,719
Ixia ( XXIA) Addington Hills BO120,0002,237,058
MetroPCS Comms ( PCS) Linquist Roger D CEO,DIR172,8171,731,252
Oshkosh ( OSK) Mosling J Peter Jr DIR40,0001,582,000
Wad & Reed Finl ( WDR) Schulte Daniel C VP,GC27,0011,063,839
Walker & Dunlop ( WD) Credit Suisse Ag BO47,087990,781
Td Ameritrade ( AMTD) Ricketts J Peter DIR46,000893,640
Adobe Sys ( ADBE) Rencher Bradley VP,SO20,982801,326
JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) Erdoes Mary E MD15,000705,300
West Alliance Banc ( WAL) Sarver Robert G CB,CEO,DIR53,908660,857
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.