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A Bank of Montreal location in Toronto.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

The S&P/TSX composite index is within striking distance of a record high.

As the stock market continues to steadily climb higher, what actions are company insiders taking? Many are scooping up shares.

Listed below are 10 companies that have experienced notable insider buying and selling activities in the public market through their direct and indirect ownerships.

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Keep in mind, when looking at transaction activities by insiders, purchasing activity may reflect perceived value in a security. Conversely, if insiders are selling shares, that may or may not be related to a stock's perceived valuation; perhaps an insider needs to raise money for personal reasons.

Furthermore, an insider's total holdings should be considered because a sale may, in context, be insignificant if this person has a large remaining position in the company. I tend to put great weight on insider transaction activities when I see multiple insiders buying or selling a company's shares.

Let's begin with the buyers.

Alacer Gold Corp. (ASR-T)

Board member Anna Kolonchina,bought 100,000 shares at a price of $2.47 per share on Jan. 6.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS-T)

President and chief executive officer Brian Porter purchased 7,000 shares on Jan. 9 at a price of $76.2887 per share.

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Empire Company Limited (EMP.A-T)

Michael Medline, the company's president and chief executive officer, bought 30,000 shares on Jan. 23.

Peyto Exploration & Development Corp. (PEY-T)

Chairman Don Gray purchased 47,415 shares on Jan. 23 at a price of $27.97 per share. In addition, Darren Gee, the president and chief executive officer, bought 10,000 shares at a price of $27.50 per share on the same day.

Raging River Exploration Inc. (RRX-T)

President and chief executive officer Neil Roszell bought 100,000 shares on Jan. 23 at $9 per share.

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Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU-T)

Michael Rose, the company's chairman, president and chief executive officer, purchased 15,000 shares in January - 5,000 shares on three separate occasions. On Jan. 12, he bought in at a price of $31, on Jan. 18 at $31.1368, and on Jan. 23 at $30.25 per share.

Vermilion Energy Inc. (VET-T)

Board member Robert Michaleski acquired 5,000 shares at $54.4784 per share on Jan. 18.

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Now, we turn to the sellers.

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Listed below are two companies with recent notable insider transaction activities.

Bank of Montreal (BMO-T)

Gilles Ouellette, who sits on the executive committee, sold 20,000 shares on Jan. 9 at $97.3119 per share. That day, fellow executive committee member and chief human resources officer at BMO Financial Group Richard Rudderham sold 10,700 shares at $97.04.

Onex Corp. (ONEX-T)

Managing director David Hirsch sold 25,609 shares at $87.2498 on Jan. 20. The prior day, he sold 8,200 shares at a price of $87.2528 per share.

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Finally, one company has had mixed activity, a combination of insider buying and selling activities.

Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR.B-T)

Willard Yuill, who sits on the board of directors, reduced his holdings by 73,200 shares on Jan. 20 and sold another 126,800 shares on Jan. 24. However, executive chairman of the board JR Shaw took the opposite action, acquiring 100,000 shares at $27.9531 on Jan. 16.

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