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. ALLSTATE FINANCIAL CORP.

Director James D. Gerson of Arlington-based Allstate Financial Corp. purchased 1,000 common shares at $7.50 each Sept. 28. He holds 5,000 shares directly and 1,000 shares indirectly.BLACK & DECKER CORP. Director Mark H. Willes of Towson-based Black & Decker Corp., purchased 1,000 common shares at $9.63 each Sept. 25, to bring his direct holdings to 3,000 shares.BOWL AMERICA INC. Abraham J. Levy, a director of Alexandria-based Bowl America Inc., received gifts of 21,705 class B common shares and acquired 56,734 class B common shares at an undisclosed amount Sept. 14. Levy now holds 500 class B shares directly and 78,439 class B shares indirectly.BTR REALTY INC. Joel F. Smith, an officer of BTR Realty of Linthicum, Md., sold 7,000 common shares at $3.75 to $3.88 each Oct. 4 to drop his direct holding to 107,929 shares.BUREAU OF NATIONAL AFFAIRS INC. William A. Beltz, a shareholder of Bureau of National Affairs Inc., acquired 1,053 class A common shares at $15 each Sept. 22. Beltz now owns 40,496 class A shares directly and 11,620 class A shares indirectly.

Sandra C. Degler, also a shareholder, acquired 1,640 class A common shares on the same day, also at $15 each. Degler owns 33,468 class A shares directly and 6,715 class A shares indirectly.COMPUTER DATA SYSTEMS INC. Director Charles H. Schools of Rockville-based Computer Data Systems Inc. purchased 1,000 common shares Aug. 28 at $7.50 each. Schools now owns 7,510 shares directly and 5,000 shares indirectly.ETHYL CORP. Roger A. Moser, a vice president of Ethyl Corp. of Richmond, sold 2,000 common shares at $27 each Sept. 11. Moser now controls 42,402 shares directly and 8,852 shares indirectly.JAMES MADISON LTD. Richard Kronheim, a director of James Madison Ltd. of Washington, purchased 11,000 common shares Sept. 12 at $4.75 each and now owns 20,000 shares directly.

Richard A. Kirstein, a director, privately purchased 10,000 class A common shares at $2.50 each Oct. 11 and holds an undisclosed number of class A shares.PIONEER FINANCIAL CORP. Vice President Frank C. Kirtley of Pioneer Financial Corp. of Chester sold 4,999 common shares Sept. 27 at $5.75 each, dropping his direct holdings to 5,876 shares.

Charles M. Keen Jr., a director, sold 2,000 common shares at $7 each Sept. 4 through Sept. 5. He now holds 3,300 shares directly and 9,921 shares indirectly.UNITED DOMINION REALTY TRUST INC. Richard A. Giannotti, a vice president of United Dominion Realty Trust Inc. of Richmond, purchased 1,000 common shares Sept. 28 at $13.50 each and now owns 1,000 shares directly. UNIVERSAL CORP. Gordon L. Crenshaw, chairman of Richmond-based Universal Corp., gave a 1,120 common-share gift on Sept. 26. Crenshaw owns 100,402 shares directly and 1,848 shares indirectly.