Insider Transactions is a weekly report of stock transactions involving officers and directors of publicly owned local companies.

Stock trading by corporate insiders often is a bellwether of corporate health. Most insiders buy stock or exercise options to make a profit. And insiders may be selling stock for tax reasons, estate planning or cash needs.

The following insider transactions involving local companies were compiled by States News Service from reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

DANAHER CORP.

Patrick W. Allender, an officer of Danaher of Washington, acquired 1,800 company common shares in an open-market purchase on Jan. 11. Allender currently holds 5,000 common shares directly.

RYLAND GROUP INC.

William G. Kagler, a director of Columbia-based Ryland, sold 2,000 company common shares in an open-market transaction on Dec. 2. Kagler currently owns 200 common shares directly.

MARRIOTT CORP.

Ronald E. Eastman, a vice president of Bethesda-based Marriott, exercised options to acquire 11,000 company common shares on Jan. 4. Eastman now holds 17,430 common shares directly.

Marriott Vice President Clifford J. Ehrlich acquired 8,568 common shares through the exercise of an option on Jan. 4. Ehrlich currently holds 31,572 common shares directly.

GANNETT CO. INC.

Douglas D. McCorkindale, an officer and a director of Gannett of Arlington, exercised an option to acquire 7,500 company common shares on Jan. 8. McCorkindale now owns 135,293 common shares directly.

HARMAN INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIES INC.

Shirley M. Hufstedler, an officer of Harman of Washington, acquired 1,000 company common shares in an open-market purchase on Dec. 3. Hufstedler now holds 2,000 common shares directly.

FEDERAL REALTY INVESTMENT TRUST

Samuel J. Gorlitz, a trustee of Federal Realty Investment Trust, sold 3,900 common shares of the Bethesda-based company on Dec. 28. Gorlitz now holds 93,712 common shares directly and 2,000 common shares indirectly.

GIANT FOOD INC.

Donald B. Sykes, an officer and a director of Giant Food, Landover, exercised an option to acquire 6,500 shares of the company's class A common stock on Oct. 21. Sykes now holds 113,078 class A common shares directly.

PENRIL CORP.

Henry D. Epstein, president of Rockville-based Penril, acquired 240,000 of the company's class C warrants in a private purchase on Nov. 20 and 141,270 common shares in an open-market purchase on Nov. 24. Epstein now holds 240,000 class C warrants and 141,270 common shares directly.

COMNET CORP.

John Spohler, chairman of Washington-based Comnet, purchased 29,200 company common shares on the open market between Oct. 20 and Oct. 29. Spohler now holds 119,200 common shares directly and 32,500 common shares indirectly.