In Insider Trades, Big Sales at Moody's and Facebook, Major Purchases at Wausau Paper and Ecolab

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Welcome to our daily roundup of top insider trades. Here's a look at the most significant inside sales and purchases filed with the SEC on Monday, May 6, 2013.

Purchases: The New York-based investment adviser Starboard Value bought 200,000 shares of one of Wisconsin' s oldest paper makers, Wausau Paper ( WPP ), for $1,965,435. Wausau manufactures, converts, and sells paper and paper products. On April 29, the company reported Q1 2013 earnings and had a loss of $29 million, or $0.60 per share, versus a net income of $9.76 million, or $0.20 per share, in Q1 2012. In the interval, sales fell 13% as well. The company has been closing and selling many paper mills, with pressure from Starboard Value, its largest shareholder. The New York-based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners is in the midst of merging the Wausau Paper mills in Mosinee and Rhinelande with mills in Kaukauna and De Pere currently owned by Thilmany Papers. The merging of the four mills will create the largest specialty paper company in America. Despite the reported losses, Wausau's stock price is up 9.55% from this time last year.

Osmium Partners bought 220,000 shares of online personals services provider Spark Networks (NYSEMKT:LOV) for $1,375,000. Spark Networks services enable adults to meet online and form relationships on websites such as JDate.com, Spark.com, BlackSingles.com, SilverSingles.com, and ChristianMingle.com. On May 2, the company announced the pricing of a follow-on public offering of 2,140,000 shares at the price of $6.25 per share. In addition, stockholder Great Hill Partners, LLC is selling 3,570,000 shares of common stock, increasing the total offering to 5,710,000 shares. On March 7, the company filed for a $75 million IPO with underwriter Piper Jaffrey. Before the IPO, the company was traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The stock's value has increased 2.44% in the last month.

Jerry Grundhofer, a Director of Ecolab ( ECL ), bought 26,486 shares of company stock for $499,892. The Minnesota-based Ecolab develops and markets cleaning and sanitizing products, programs, and services for the hospitality, food service, health care, and industrial markets. On April 30, the company reported Q1 2013 earnings of $159.6 million, or $0.53 per shares, compared to $49.7 million and $0.17 per share in Q1 2012. Revenue increased by 2% to $2.87 billion. That same day, the company announced a restructuring process that will cut 500 jobs, though none of those lost jobs will be in Minnesota. The company's stock price is up 20.08% year-to-date and 32.91% since this time last year.

Sales: Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) sold 1,375,011 shares of credit ratings company Moody's ( MCO ) for $84,501,728, following a $106 million sale filed with the SEC on May 1. Berkshire has decreased its stake in Moody's to 25,293,540 shares; it is still the majority shareholder of the company, which reported strong earnings on May 3, with revenue for Q1 2013 up 13% from Q1 2012 and with earnings per share up 9% to $0.83. Since the beginning of May, the company's stock price has increased 15.71%, and it is up 26.7% year-to-date and up 64.51% since this time last year.

James Breyer, a Director of Facebook ( FB ), sold 1,331,609 shares of company stock for $38,001,060. Yesterday, news was circulating on the Internet that Facebook is close to launching video advertising, with the first ads to play in the news feeds of users sometime in July. It is likely that the first companies to utilize the new program will be those on Facebook's "client list," companies like Coca Cola ( KO ) and Ford (F). The company posted Q1 2013 earnings results on May 1 , with revenue of $1.46 billion beating the $1.44 billion consensus estimates, and up 38% from Q1 2012. Earnings per share, however, just missed the consensus estimate of $0.13, coming in at $0.12. The company saw an uptick in stock price following earnings, but it is now down 1.15% since May 1. The price is up 3.12% year-to-date and is down 27.76% since this time last year.

Insider Purchases
#: Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Type
Dollar Value

1

Starboard Value

BO

Wausau Paper

WPP

B

$1,965,435

2

Osmium Partners

BO

Spark Networks

LOV

JB*

$1,375,000

3

Grundhofer Jerry

DIR

Ecolab

ECL

B

$499,892

4

Loewenbaum GW

DIR

Luminex

LMNX

B

$421,566

5

Schaefer John H

DIR

Annaly Capital

NLY

B

$379,000

6

Grant Kevin E

CB,CEO,CIO

Cys Inv

CYS

B

$359,430

7

Okumus OV Fd

BO

Vocus

VOCS

B,JB*

$323,871

8

Locke Stacy

PR,CEO,DIR

Pioneer Energy

PES

B

$224,004

9

Justesen Jon L

DIR

Barrett Business

BBSI

B

$209,880

10

Lee Daniel R

DIR

Myers Ind

MYE

B

$205,676


Insider Sales
#: Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Type
Dollar Value

1

Berkshire Hathaway

BO

Moodys

MCO

S

$84,501,728

2

Breyer James

DIR

Facebook

FB

AS

$38,001,060

3

Gtcr Fund IX A

DIR,BO

Privatebancorp

PVTB

JS*

$32,190,404

4

Schwab Charles R

CB,DIR,BO

Schwab Charles

SCHW

S

$25,447,860

5

Thayer Equity

BO

Roadrunner Trans

RRTS

S

$22,460,000

6

Cabela Richard N

CB,DIR

Cabelas

CAB

S

$17,926,760

7

McCarthy Michael

DIR

Cabelas

CAB

S

$13,351,388

8

Bhutani Ashish

VCB,DIR

Lazard

LAZ

S

$8,316,636

9

Frazier Laura

BO

Brown Forman

BFB

S

$4,283,455

10

Brandon David

DIR

Dominos Pizza

DPZ

S

$3,980,050

Source: InsiderInsights.com | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes

An important note from Jonathan Moreland, founder of Insider Insights :

In a victory for common sense, it has been proven profitable -- by both academic studies and (more importantly) the experience of your fellow professional investors -- to monitor the trading behavior of company executives, directors, and large shareholders in the stocks of firms of which they're registered as "insiders."

Please note, however, that the lists above are strictly factual; they are 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 InsiderInsights.com, 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.

Jonathan Moreland is also the author of " Profit From Legal Insider Trading."


Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ECL , FB , KO , MCO , WPP

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