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who is buying and selling

A man passes by a Couche Tard convenience store in Montreal, Friday, October 5, 2012.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

While our four-year chart for Alimentation Couche-Tard shows selling, it would be a mistake to assume corporate insiders were unloading stock. Although officers and a director sold 2,440,481 shares in the public market during the period, they also acquired 5,623,804 shares through options. That helped to boost insider holdings by more than 3.2 million shares. In light of the stock's upward performance, it was a shrewd strategy and provides an example of why we watch for companies where insiders exercise options and hang on to some shares.

Ted Dixon is CEO of INK Research which provides insider news and knowledge to investors. For more background on insider reporting in Canada, visit the FAQ section at Securities referenced in this profile may have already appeared in recent reports distributed to INK subscribers. INK staff may also hold a position in profiled securities.

Infographic reflects public-market transactions of common shares or unit trusts by company officers and directors.