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. AMERICAN CAPITAL & RESEARCH CORP.

Marc Tipermas, an affiliate of Fairfax-based American Capital & Research Corp., sold 30,000 class B common shares at $12.85 each July 23. He currently owns 239,000 class B common shares directly and 4,103 class B common shares indirectly.CHEMDESIGN CORP.

Richard C. Waugh, an officer of Bethesda-based Chemdesign Corp. gave a gift of 1,000 common shares July 27 and currently owns 11,200 common shares directly.CHESAPEAKE CORP.

Several officers of Richmond-based Chesapeake Corp. have acquired common shares:

Joseph C. Fox, president, acquired 1,106 common shares through a plan July 1 at $19.39 each and now holds 101,521 common shares directly and 23,471 common shares indirectly.

John W. Kirk, an officer, exercised options for the purchase of 1,800 common shares July 23 at $12.21 each and presently owns 9,563 common shares directly and 125 common shares indirectly.

Frederick V. Ernst, a vice president, acquired 5,250 common shares July 17 at $12.21 each and currently holds 23,677 common shares directly and 300 common shares indirectly.

Thomas A. Smith, also a vice president, acquired 2,100 common shares on July 17 at $12.21 each and now owns 7,977 common shares directly and 178 common shares indirectly.CIRCUIT CITY STORES INC.

Richard Sharp, president of Circuit City Stores Inc. of Richmond, sold 10,000 common shares at $26.25 to $26.50 each between July 2 and July 3. Sharp controls 459,530 common shares directly.CRESTAR FINANCIAL CORP.

Samuel P. Cardwell, a shareholder of Crestar Financial Corp. of Richmond, exercised options to purchase 6,000 common shares at $18.19 each July 19. Cardwell holds 22,262 common shares directly.DIAGNON CORP.

Joseph T. August, a director of Diagnon Corp. of Rockville, purchased 10,000 common shares at 7 cents each Aug. 1. He currently holds 992,340 common shares directly.DOMINION BANKSHARES CORP.

Several officers and directors of Roanoke-based Dominion Bankshares Corp. have acquired common shares.

Chairman Warner N. Dalhouse exercised options to purchase 3,000 common shares July 11 at $6.22 each and purchased 10,000 common shares July 19 at $ each. Dalhouse holds 47,636 common shares directly and 13,056 shares indirectly.

James W. Harkness, vice president, purchased 1,273 common shares at an undisclosed price July 23. He owns 4,135 common shares directly and 2,467 common shares indirectly.

James A. Webb Jr., a director, purchased 5,000 common shares at $13.00 each July 3 and currently holds 49,842 common shares directly.F&M NATIONAL CORP.

John S. Scully III, a director of F&M National Corp. of Winchester, Va., acquired 1,082 common shares through a plan at $12.74 each July 1. He owns 55,021 common shares directly.FIDELITY BANCSHARES INC.

William R. Bruce, a director of Fidelity Bancshares Inc. of Norfolk, purchased 1,000 common shares at $18.00 each July 19 and now owns 6,000 common shares directly.GEICO CORP.

Samuel C. Butler, a director of Geico Corp. of Washington, was given 7,300 common shares July 3 that he gave away on the same day, and he acquired and disposed of 11,000 common shares July 9 at an undisclosed price. He currently holds 11,000 common shares indirectly.GIANT FOOD INC.

Terry A. Gans, vice president of Giant Food Inc. of Landover, sold 1,633 class A common shares July 13 at $27.75 each. He owns 34,251 class A common shares directly and 2,746 class A shares indirectly.JAMES RIVER CORP.

James River Corp. Spp., a beneficial owner of Richmond-based James River Corp. shares, disposed of 186,106 common shares at undisclosed amounts between July 3 and July 30, purchased 121,882 common shares at $26.43 to $26.83 each between July 10 and July 26 and acquired 24,532 common shares at $25.31 to $25.46 each between Aug. 3 and Aug. 6. James River Corp. Spp. currently holds 9,368,904 common shares directly.KAY JEWELERS INC.

Harry Braverman, vice president of Alexandria-based Kay Jewelers Inc., sold 15,615 common shares Aug. 10 at $13.75 each and no longer holds any stock.LIFE TECHNOLOGIES INC.

Robert W. Lynn, a shareholder of Gaithersburg-based Life Technologies Inc., exercised options for the purchase of 4,380 common shares at $9.50 to $15.25 each July 16 and sold 4,660 common shares July 27 at $18.25 each. He now owns 1,810 common shares directly.

Frederick R. Adler, a director, sold 3,000 common shares at $18.19 each July 20 and now holds 355,914 common shares directly and 100,350 common shares indirectly.MCI COMMUNICATIONS CORP.

John R. Worthington, an officer and a director of MCI Communications Corp. of Washington, D.C., sold 15,000 common shares at $37.23 to $37.91 each between July 5 and July 31. Worthington owns 137,145 common shares directly and 83,000 common shares indirectly.ORBITAL SCIENCES CORP.

Several officers and directors of Fairfax-based Orbital Sciences Corp. acquired common shares on April 24 at undisclosed prices.

Fred C. Alcorn, acquiring 7,922 common shares, now holds 7,922 common shares directly.

Bruce W. Ferguson, acquiring 5,936 common shares, now holds 205,936 common shares directly.

J. Paul Kinlock, acquiring 6,032 common shares, now holds 6,032 common shares directly.PERPETUAL FINANCIAL CORP.

Judith E. McCaffrey, an officer of Perpetual Financial Corp. of Vienna, sold 6,075 common shares July 11 at $2.00 each and no longer holds any stock.REYNOLDS METALS CO.

John M. Noonan, vice president of Reynolds Metals Co. of Richmond, sold 2,000 common shares at $60.00 each July 5. He controls 10,661 common shares directly.

William G. Reynolds Jr., also a vice president, sold 3,100 common shares July 26 at $64.75 each and currently holds 24,685 common shares directly and 151,594 common shares indirectly.SIGNET BANKING CORP.

Stanley I. Westreich, a director of Signet Banking Corp. of Richmond, purchased 100,000 common shares at $16.13 to $19.13 each between July 17 and July 27 and currently controls 162,661 common shares directly and 74,626 common shares indirectly.UNITED DOMINION REALTY TRUST INC.

Harmon C. Williams Jr., chairman of United Dominion Realty Trust Inc. of Richmond, sold 3,387 common shares July 5 at $16.00 to $16.15 each. He owns 36,584 common shares directly and 12,000 common shares indirectly.