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 MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS INC.

Director Steven R. Fenster of Arlington-based American Management Systems Inc. disposed of 16,076 common shares through exchanges for unreported prices and acquired an equal number of shares through exchanges, also for unreported prices on Sept. 28. Fenster holds 16,076 shares directly and 308,000 shares indirectly. AMERICAN WOODMARK CORP.

Gene S. Morphis, a vice president of American Woodmark Corp. of Winchester, Va., bought 1,000 common shares at $4.25 each Sept. 4, bringing his direct holding to 3,000 shares. BANK MARYLAND CORP.

Hildebert F. Criste, chairman of Towson, Md.-based Bank Maryland Corp., bought 17,000 common shares from Sept. 10 to Sept. 26 at $5.75 to $6 each and purchased 11,000 common shares Sept. 24 through Sept. 27 at $5.25 to $5.75 each. Criste now holds 90,552 shares directly and 26,030 shares indirectly. BOWL AMERICA INC.

Howard Katzman, a shareholder of Bowl America Inc. of Alexandria, gave a gift of 7,000 class B common shares Sept. 14. Katzman currently holds 114,415 class B shares directly and 92,483 class B shares indirectly. CHEMDESIGN CORP.

Alan W. Foster, an officer of Bethesda-based Chemdesign Corp., exercised options to purchase 1,869 common shares at $3 each, and purchased 5,000 common shares at $6.56 each Sept. 21, to bring his direct holding to 19,631 shares.

Edward G. Najjar, a director, purchased 1,000 common shares Sept. 19 at $6.50 each, and currently owns 10,169 shares directly and 5,065 shares indirectly.

Chairman Richard E. Brooks exercised warrants to purchase 12,425 common shares at $1.10 each Sept. 18. Brooks holds 485,446 shares directly and 1,400 shares indirectly. CIRCUIT CITY STORES INC.

Kenneth M. Antos, a vice president of Circuit City Stores Inc. of Richmond, sold 1,400 common shares at $16 each Sept. 28. Antos owns 702 shares directly and 400 shares indirectly. COMNET CORP.

John Spohler, chairman of Comnet Corp. of Greenbelt, purchased 3,500 common shares at $7.25 each Sept. 7. Spohler now holds 137,850 shares directly and 52,000 shares indirectly. ETHYL CORP.

Floyd D. Gottwald Jr., the chairman of Richmond-based Ethyl Corp., exercised options to purchase 9,528 common shares at $11.37 each on Sept. 26. He presently controls 5,738,731 shares directly and 4,874,601 shares indirectly.

Henry Clay Page Jr., a vice president, exercised options to purchase 5,293 common shares at $10.33 each and exercised options to sell 2,113 common shares at $25.88 each Sept. 25. He now owns 15,288 shares directly and 3,966 shares indirectly. FIDELITY BANCSHARES INC.

Archie F. Weaver, a director of Fidelity Bancshares Inc. of Norfolk, purchased 2,000 common shares on Sept. 6 at $18.17 each, bringing his direct holding to 4,650 shares. FIRST CITIZENS FINANCIAL CORP.

Director N. Richard Kimmel of First Citizens Financial Corp. of Silver Spring, purchased 27,755 common shares at $7.50 each Sept. 24, and sold an equal number of shares on the same day for the same price. Kimmel owns 79,695 shares directly and 22,120 shares indirectly. FREDERICKSBURG NATIONAL BANCORP.

Carl D. Silver, a beneficial owner of Fredericksburg, Va.-based Fredericksburg National Bancorp., privately purchased 2,388 common shares Oct. 1 at $180 each, bringing his direct holding to 27,086 shares. GIANT FOOD INC.

David N. Freedman, an officer of Giant Food Inc. of Landover, exercised options to purchase 3,000 class A common shares at $3.11 each Sept. 25, to bring his direct class A holding to 66,379 shares. GROUP 1 SOFTWARE INC.

John Spohler, an executive affiliated with Greenbelt-based Group 1 Software Inc., purchased 5,000 common shares Sept. 7 at $6 each and now owns 10,750 shares directly. GROWTH STOCK OUTLOOK TRUST INC.

Atlee M. Kohl, a director of Growth Stock Outlook Trust Inc. of Bethesda, purchased 1,000 common shares Sept. 21 at $9.88 each. He currently holds 6,000 shares directly and 19,583 shares indirectly.

Woodland Investment Co., also a director, had a similar transaction on the same day and now holds 19,583 shares directly. HECHINGER CO.

Joanne M. Barrett, an officer of Hechinger Co. of Landover, purchased 1,000 class A common shares Sept. 25 at $7.25 each. Barrett currently holds 6,048 class A shares directly.

John R. McGrath, also an officer, purchased the same number of class A shares at $6.50 each Sept. 28 and presently owns 1,000 class A shares directly. INTELLIGENT ELECTRONICS INC.

Bonnie B. Granieri, a vice president of Intelligent Electronics Inc. of Landover, exercised options to purchase 13,000 common shares on Sept. 4 at $2.50 to $6 each, to bring her direct holding to 36,292 shares. INVESTORS FINANCIAL CORP.

A. Hughes Ware Jr., a shareholder of Investors Financial Corp. of Richmond, sold 9,100 common shares at $1.25 to $1.38 each Sept. 24 through Sept. 26. Ware currently owns 20,000 shares directly and 6,153 shares indirectly. JAMES RIVER CORP.

Sovran Bank N.A., a trustee of James River Corp. of Richmond, disposed of 79,787 common shares Sept. 28 at an undisclose price, and purchased 177,717 shares at $19.13 to $22.28 each Sept. 11 through Sept. 28. Sovran presently controls 8,472,303 shares directly and 9,551,214 shares indirectly.

James River Corp. SPP, a beneficial owner, had similar transactions and currently owns 9,551,214 shares directly. MARRIOTT CORP.

Lowell E. Gutzler, an officer of Bethesda-based Marriott Corp., exercised options to purchase 1,000 common shares at $6.69 each Sept. 19, to bring his direct holding to 1,762 shares. MERCANTILE BANKSHARES CORP.

Calman J. Zamoiski Jr., a director of Mercantile Bankshares Corp. of Baltimore, bought 1,500 common shares at $18.50 each on Sept. 4. Zamoiski now holds 11,500 shares directly and 1,200 shares indirectly. PIONEER FINANCIAL CORP.

Thomas R. Thornton Jr., a vice president of Pioneer Financial Corp. of Chester, Va., sold 2,000 common shares at $5.50 each Oct. 2 and now owns 1,000 shares directly and 800 shares indirectly. POTOMAC ELECTRIC POWER CO.

Vice President Donald R. Briggs of Potomac Electric Power Co. of Washington sold 1,315 common shares Oct. 11 at $19.13 each. Briggs now owns 8,591 shares directly and 7,707 shares indirectly. RAC MORTGAGE INVESTMENT CORP.

Thomas H. Potts, president of RAC Mortgage Investment Corp. of Columbia, purchased 25,000 common shares Sept. 14 at $4.63 each and now holds 201,692 shares directly. ROUSE CO.

B. Owen Williams, a vice president of the Rouse Co. of Columbia, Md., gave a 1,280 common-share gift and received an identical gift Sept. 26. Williams holds 27,171 shares directly and 2,278 shares indirectly.

R. Harwood Beville, a shareholder of Rouse Co. acquired 16,000 common shares from Sept. 25 to Sept. 26 at $15 to $15.25 each. Beville holds 336,971 shares directly and 15,000 shares indirectly. TREDEGAR INDUSTRIES INC.

Richard W. Goodrum, an officer and director of Richmond-based Tredegar Industries Inc., purchased 1,000 common shares Sept. 10 at $9 each and currently holds 7,617 shares directly and 4,615 shares indirectly.

John D. Gottwald, president, purchased 4,000 common shares Sept. 10 through Sept. 13, also at $9 each. Gottwald owns 114,563 shares directly and 15,908 shares indirectly. UNIVERSAL SECURITY INSTRUMENTS INC.

Stephen Knepper, an officer and director of Universal Security Instruments Inc. of Owings Mills, Md., purchased 12,450 common shares Sept. 13 through Sept. 21 at $1.23 each. Knepper controls 119,173 shares directly and 96,723 shares indirectly.

Michael Kovens, also an officer and director, had similar transactions and now owns 492,884 shares directly and 211,587 shares indirectly. USF&G CORP.

Charles W. Boone, a vice president of Baltimore-based USF&G Corp., sold 5,127 common shares Aug. 20 through Aug. 21 at $21.13 to $22.38 each and now holds 14,916 shares directly.