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 companies in Maryland, Virginia and the District were compiled by States News Service from reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission. AMERICAN CAPITAL AND RESEARCH CORP.

Michael C. Barth, a vice president of American Capital & Research Corp. of Fairfax, privately sold 25,000 class B common shares May 14 for $9.51 each. Barth controls 340,000 class B common shares directly and 4,764 class B common shares indirectly.BASSETT FURNITURE INDUSTRIES INC.

Glenn A. Hunsucker, president of Bassett Furniture Industries Inc. of Bassett, Va., exercised options for 4,000 common shares June 20, and disposed of 3,459 common shares through the exercise of an option, all at undisclosed prices. Hunsucker owns 4,130 common shares directly.CELL TECHNOLOGY INC.

John D. Hay, a director of Cell Technology Inc. of Alexandria, sold 20,000 common shares between June 5 and June 7 for $2.25 to $2.63 each. Hay currently controls 472,998 common shares directly and 29,000 common shares indirectly.CIRCUIT CITY STORES INC.

Richard S. Birnbaum, a shareholder of Circuit City Stores Inc. of Richmond, exercised options for 1,134 common shares April 3 at $6.22 each. Birnbaum owns 21,232 common shares directly.COMMUNITY BANKSHARES INC.

Alvin L. Sheffield, a director of Community Bankshares Inc. of Petersburg, Va., acquired 4,600 common shares June 5 for an undisclosed amount, and now owns 16,170 common shares directly.ETHYL CORP.

Bruce C. Gottwald, president of Ethyl Corp. of Richmond, acquired 1,788 common shares through a plan April 30 for an undisclosed amount. Gottwald currently holds 4.8 million common shares directly and 4.7 million common shares indirectly.

Roger A. Moser, a vice president, sold 1,000 common shares June 15 for $30.50 each, and now controls 46,402 common shares directly and 8,562 common shares indirectly.F&M BANCORP

Charles A. Nicodemus, a director of F&M Bancorp of Frederick, Md., purchased 1,000 common shares June 26 for $19 each, and now controls 11,200 common shares directly and 2,428 common shares indirectly. GIANT FOOD INC.

Winston G. Docarmo, a vice president of Giant Food Inc. of Landover, exercised options for 3,225 class A common shares June 11 for $1.71 each. Docarmo owns 21,050 class A common shares directly.