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The threaded end of one of hundreds of drill pipes is shown in front of the Baytex Energy Ltd.'s Pembina oil rig near Pigeon Lake, Alta., on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012.

Norm Betts/Bloomberg

Featured below are companies that have experienced recent insider trading activity in the public market through their direct and indirect ownerships, including accounts they have control or direction over.

The list features insider transaction activity. It does not convey total ownership information as an insider may hold numerous accounts.

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

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I tend to put great weight on insider transaction activity when I see multiple insiders trading a company's shares or units.

Let's begin the report featuring a security that has had insider buying activity.

Gear Energy Ltd. (GXE-T)

The share price has been moving higher, rising nearly 40 per cent in less than three months.

On Jan. 12, Chairman Don Gray purchased 400,000 shares at an average cost per share of 99 cents, lifting his sizeable portfolio position to 3,966,605 shares.

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The following three stocks have had recent insider selling activity.

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Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE-T)

On Jan. 11, John Brussa, who sits on the board of directors, sold 45,000 shares at an average price per share of $4.25, reducing his portfolio's holdings to 375,989 shares.

Cardinal Energy Ltd. (CJ-T)

Numerous management executives were sellers in the market on Jan. 11.

President, Chief Executive Officer and Chaiman Scott Ratushny exercised his rights, receiving 40,519 shares and sold 19,044 shares at an average price per share of $5.05. A few days prior, on Jan. 9, he exercised his rights and sold the corresponding number of shares (55,707) at an average price per share of $5.10. After these transactions, his account held 1,254,761 shares.

Chief Operating Officer Dale Orton exercised his rights, receiving 27,856 shares, and sold 13,700 shares at an average price per share of $5.05, leaving 14,156 shares in his portfolio.

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Chief Financial Officer Douglas Smith exercised his rights, receiving 18,571 shares and sold 8,596 shares at an average price per share of $5.05. On Jan. 9, he exercised his rights, receiving 27,853 shares, and sold 13,909 shares at an average price per share of $5.05. After these trades, his portfolio's position stood at 558,545 shares.

Laurence Broos, Vice-President – Finance, exercised his rights, receiving 11,243 shares and sold 5,107 shares at an average price per share of $5.05. On Jan. 9, he exercised his rights, receiving 17,409 shares, and sold 8,858 shares at an average price per share of $5.05. After these trades, he held 28,368 shares in this account.

Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (SSL-T)

Between Jan. 5 and Jan. 9, President and Chief Executive Officer Nolan Watson exercised his options and rights, receiving a grand total of 689,917 shares, and sold a total of 580,000 shares at an average price per share of approximately $6.38. His closing account balance stood at 1,056,890 shares.

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