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 the Washington, Baltimore and Richmond areas were compiled by States News Service from reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission. BALTIMORE GAS & ELECTRIC CO. George C. Creel, a vice president of Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., gave a 2,600 common-share gift Oct. 1. Creel presently owns 7,100 shares directly and 5,178 shares indirectly. Jon M. Files, also a vice president, gave a 4,900 common-share gift Oct. 15. Files owns 6,300 shares directly and 10,690 shares indirectly. CHEUNG LABORATORIES INC. Verle D. Blaha, president of Cheung Laboratories Inc. of Columbia, Md., acquired 26,769 common shares through exchanges Oct. 17 at 13 cents each. Blaha holds 449,836 shares directly and 42,000 shares indirectly.

Augustine Y. Cheung, chairman, acquired 20,139 common shares through exchanges Oct. 17, also at 13 cents each and currently controls 5,021,651 shares directly.

Dennis Smith, an officer, acquired 13,031 common shares through exchanges on Oct. 17 for the same price and now owns 54,038 shares directly and 2,000 shares indirectly. DOMINION BANKSHARES CORP. Director John S. Battle Jr. of Dominion Bankshares Corp. of Roanoke purchased 1,000 common shares at $8.88 each Oct. 22. Battle presently holds 4,248 shares directly and 217 shares indirectly. F&M NATIONAL CORP. Wilbur M. Feltner, chairman of F&M National Corp. of Winchester, Va., purchased 5,000 common shares Oct. 3 at $8.75 each and now holds 49,356 shares directly and 8,000 shares indirectly.

James L. Bowman, a director, acquired 3,104 common shares at $11.98 each Oct. 1 and acquired 10,746 common shares through exchanges Oct. 5 at unreported prices. Bowman now owns 200,000 shares directly and 246,127 shares indirectly.

W.E. Bridgeforth Jr., a director, purchased 10,000 common shares at $8.75 each Oct. 17 and currently holds 37,998 shares directly and 53,903 shares indirectly.

HECHINGER CO. Lois H. England, a beneficial owner of Hechinger Co. of Landover, gave a gift of 200,000 class A common shares Oct. 1. England owns 6,388 class A shares directly and 184,900 class A shares indirectly.

Richard England, a director, gave a similar gift on the same date and now owns 191,288 class A shares indirectly.

John W. Hechinger, an officer and director, gave gifts of 3,750 class A common shares and 3,750 class B common shares Oct. 1. He holds 116,766 class A shares and 1,170,670 class B shares directly, and 237,039 class A shares and 1,257,542 class B shares indirectly.

John W. Hechinger Jr., an officer and director, received gifts of 1,250 class A common shares and an equal number of class B common shares Oct. 1. He owns 99,119 class A shares and 471,180 class B shares directly, and 95,289 class A shares and 520,495 class B shares indirectly.

June R. Hechinger, a beneficial owner, gave gifts of 3,750 class A common shares and an equal number of class B common shares Oct. 1. She holds 86,844 class A shares and 493,435 class B shares directly, and 266,961 class A shares and 1,934,777 shares indirectly. IGENE BIOTECHNOLOGY INC. Thomas L. Kempner, a director of Columbia-based Igene Biotechnology Inc., sold 11,724 common shares at 2 cents each Oct. 24. He currently owns 150,276 shares directly and 722,311 shares indirectly. INTERNATIONAL CONSUMER BRANDS INC. Steven A. Sherman, a shareholder of International Consumer Brands Inc. of Washington, privately sold 470,588 common shares Oct. 2 at 27 cents each and no longer owns any common shares. JAMES RIVER CORP. James River Corp. SPP, a beneficial owner of Richmond-based James River Corp., disposed of 83,569 common shares for unreported prices Oct. 31, acquired 1,053 common shares, also at unreported prices, Oct. 25 and purchased 181,443 shares Oct. 9 through Oct. 29 at $19.30 to $19.94 each. The stock purchase plan controls 9,649,730 shares directly.JAMES MADISON LTD. Director Richard Kronheim of James Madison Ltd. of Washington privately purchased 25,100 class A common shares Oct. 22 at $2 each and currently holds 110,000 class A shares directly.MCCORMICK & CO. Director Harry K. Wells of McCormick & Co. of Hunt Valley, Md, gave gifts of 3,175 class V common shares Oct. 18. Wells owns 17,440 shares directly and 78,119 shares indirectly. NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP. Robert B. Clayton, a director of Norfolk Southern Corp. of Norfolk, gave a 2,500 common-share gift Oct. 17 and now controls 39,606 shares directly. ONCOR INC. Michael T. Elliott, an officer of Gaithersburg-based Oncor Inc., gave a 2,734 common-share gift July 5 and now controls 159,766 shares directly. RIGGS NATIONAL CORP. William R. Thompson, a director of Riggs National Corp. of Washington, purchased 3,000 common shares Oct. 22 at $12 each, to bring his direct holding to 5,080 shares. SIGNET BANKING CORP. Stanley I. Westreich, a director of Richmond-based Signet Banking Corp., acquired 5,102 common shares through a plan Oct. 25 at $9.44 each. Westreich controls 165,224 shares directly and 77,452 shares indirectly.UNC INC. Divisional officer John S. Hoover of UNC Inc. of Annapolis purchased 12,500 common shares at $3.61 each Oct. 5 and now owns 14,500 shares directly. Richard H. Lange, a vice president, purchased 11,250 common shares, also at $3.61 each Oct. 16, to bring his direct holding to 12,250 shares. USAIR GROUP INC. Several subsidiary officers of Arlington-based USAir Group Inc. acquired common shares through a plan on July 25 at undisclosed prices: John P. Frestel Jr. acquired 5,000 shares and holds 20,000 shares directly. Patricia Goldman acquired 3,000 shares and owns 13,000 shares directly. Frederick L. Kocher acquired 4,000 shares and holds 12,000 shares directly. James T. Lloyd acquired 5,000 shares and holds 27,500 shares directly. John R. Long III acquired 4,000 shares and owns 30,167 shares directly. Randall Malin acquired 35,000 shares and owns 92,000 shares directly. Joseph R. Ogorman Jr. acquired 15,000 shares and holds that amount directly. Seth E. Schofield acquired 50,000 shares and owns 106,720 shares directly.

Michael R. Schwab acquired 4,000 shares and owns 12,000 shares directly. USLICO CORP. Charles V. Giuffra, chairman of Uslico Corp. of Arlington, purchased 1,000 common shares at $16.63 each Oct. 3. Giuffra currently owns 22,387 directly and 34,715 shares indirectly. VERSAR INC. Bruno Maestri, a vice president of Versar Inc. of Springfield, sold 2,200 common shares at $2.13 each Oct. 30 and now holds 7,211 shares directly.

Robert P. Ouellette, a vice president, sold 3,800 common shares at $2.13 to $2.63 each Oct. 24 through Oct. 30. He owns 4,690 shares directly.