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. AMERICAN CAPITAL RESEARCH CORP.

Elizabeth L. Anderson, a director of American Capital Research Corp. of Fairfax, sold 10,000 class A common shares Dec. 26 at $12 each. She currently owns 15,000 class A shares directly and 5,142 class A shares indirectly.

Douglas McMinn, a divisional officer, exercised options to purchase 40,000 class B common shares at $3.46 each Dec. 28, and now holds 40,000 class B shares directly.

Michael K. Goldman, a vice president, sold 5,000 class A common shares at $11 each Dec. 4. He owns 10,000 class A shares directly and 3,748 class A shares indirectly.

AMERICAN REPUBLIC BANCORP.

Rhonda L. Cress, a director of American Republic Bancorp. of Severna Park, purchased 2,000 common shares at $4.75 each Dec. 19, and currently owns 2,000 shares directly.

BANK MARYLAND CORP.

Louis M. Schaefer, a director of Bank Maryland Corp. of Towson, privately sold 5,700 common shares at $3.50 each and privately purchased 5,073 common shares at the same price Dec. 31. Schaefer owns 23,553 shares directly and 3,128 shares indirectly.

D. Dryden Lindsay Jr., a director, privately sold and purchased 10,200 common shares Dec. 27 at $3.50 each and now holds 14,200 shares indirectly.

C&S/SOVRAN CORP.

Bennett A. Brown, chairman of C&S/Sovran Corp. of Norfolk, gave a gift of 6,894 common shares Dec. 21. Brown holds 49,727 shares directly and 53,421 shares indirectly.

ESSEX CORP.

William A. Perkins, a director of Essex Corp. of Columbia, purchased 2,000 common shares at $1.35 each Dec. 31 bringing his direct holding to 10,100 shares.

Terry Turpin, a vice president, purchased 1,000 common shares at $1.35 each Dec. 31. He owns 49,889 shares directly.

Robert B. Pirie Jr., a director, purchased 4,000 common shares Dec. 7 at $1.35 each and now holds 4,000 shares directly.

Frank E. Manning, an officer, gave a gift of 53,000 common shares Dec. 31. Manning holds 145,275 shares directly.

ETHYL CORP.

George T. Stewart III, a director of Ethyl Corp. of Richmond, gave a 1,500-common-share gift Dec. 20. He presently holds 57,216 shares directly and 3,330 shares indirectly.

F&M BANCORP.

George B. Delaplaine Jr., a director of F&M Bancorp. of Frederick, Md., gave a 1,500-common-share gift Dec. 27. Delaplaine holds 5,430 shares directly and 62,052 shares indirectly.

GANNETT CO.

Several executives of Arlington-based Gannett Co. acquired common shares through a plan Dec. 28 and 29 at undisclosed amounts: John J. Curley, chairman, acquired 5,000 shares, and now owns 100,897 shares directly and 2,220 shares indirectly. Cathleen P. Black, an affiliate, acquired 4,400 shares. She holds 19,602 shares directly and 20 shares indirectly. Brian J. Donnelly, an officer, acquired 1,100 shares. He holds 17,721 shares directly and 571 shares indirectly. Douglas H. McCorkindale, an officer and director, acquired 4,000 shares, and presently owns 143,293 shares directly and 26 shares indirectly. Gary L. Watson, a divisional officer, acquired 1,100 shares, and holds 11,627 shares directly and 1,350 shares indirectly. Cecil Walker, an affiliate, gave gifts of 6,682 common shares and received a gift of an equal number of shares Dec. 20. He presently owns 4,268 shares directly and 6,682 shares indirectly.

GRACE ENERGY CORP.

Thomas P. Moore Jr., a director of Grace Energy Corp. of Washington, purchased 1,000 common shares at $15.13 each Jan. 7, to bring his direct holding to 3,000 shares.

INTELLIGENT ELECTRONICS INC.

Christopher T. Fish, a director of Landover-based Intelligent Electronics Inc., sold 100,000 common shares at $18.43 each Dec. 5, and currently owns 843,006 shares indirectly.

IMMUCOR INC.

Richard J. Still, an officer and director of Immucor Inc. of Richmond, sold 9,000 common shares at $14.25 each Dec. 19. Still currently owns 52,250 shares directly and 2,500 shares indirectly.

JAMES RIVER CORP.

Edwin L. Showalter, vice president of James River Corp. of Richmond, gave a gift of 5,150 common shares Dec. 7. Showalter owns 76,808 shares directly and 9,028 shares indirectly.

James River Corp. SPP, a beneficial owner of James River Corp. of Richmond, disposed of 126,052 common shares for undisclosed prices Dec. 3 through Dec. 28 and purchased 205,143 common shares at $2.398 to $26.44 each Dec. 14 through Dec. 31.

The plan now controls 10,082,230 shares directly. Robert C. Williams, president, exercised options for the purchase of 13,500 common shares Dec. 7 at $6.85 each. Williams holds 519,440 shares directly and 20,970 shares indirectly.

KIRSCHNER MEDICAL CORP.

Several executives of Kirschner Medical Corp. of Timonium exercised options to purchase common shares at $4.50 each:

Kirby L. Cramer, a director, purchased 5,000 shares Dec. 27. He holds 37,400 shares directly and 1,600 shares indirectly.

Edmund O. Baldiswieler, an officer, purchased 10,000 shares Jan. 2 and now owns 14,400 shares directly and 462 shares indirectly.

Director John G. Kovach purchased 5,000 shares Jan. 2. He currently holds 8,785 shares directly and 500 shares indirectly.

John A. Kravitz, an officer, purchased 12,000 shares Jan. 1 bringing his direct holding to 13,845 shares.

Director John W. Sinwell purchased 5,000 shares Jan. 2 and now owns 6,500 shares directly.

LEGG MASON INC.

Several executives of Baltimore-based Legg Mason Inc. have exercised options to purchase common shares: James W. Brinkley, an officer and director, purchased 5,000 shares at $2.31 each Dec. 12, and now holds 158,539 shares directly. Edmund J. Cashman Jr., an officer and director, acquired 5,500 shares at the same price, and currently holds 122,125 shares directly. Chairman Raymond A. Mason purchased 30,000 share, also at $2.31 each Dec. 13 through Dec. 19. He controls 291,598 shares directly. Richard J. Himelfarb, an officer and director, purchased 6,563 common shares at $7.69 each Dec. 12. Himelfarb owns 13,438 shares directly.

MALLARD COACH CO.

Thomas F. Githens, Perry L. Lewis and Sangwoo Ahn, directors of Mallard Coach Co. of Glen Allen, each purchased 3,037 common shares at $1.86 each Dec. 31. Githens now owns 68,204 shares directly and 1,063,372 shares indirectly, Lewis 77,083 directly and 1,117,493 indirectly and Ahn 50,037 directly and 1,119,372 indirectly.

James P. Kerich, chairman, purchased 1,215 common shares at $1.86 each Dec. 31 bringing his direct holding to 41,215 shares.

MANOR CARE INC.

Stewart W. Bainum, an officer and beneficial owner of Silver Spring-based Manor Care Inc., disposed of and acquired 6,000 common shares at undisclosed prices and gave a 19,439 common-share gift Dec. 21. He currently controls 2,640,205 shares directly and 9,135,008 shares indirectly.

Stewart W. Bainum Jr., chairman, acquired 6,000 common shares, also at undisclosed prices, Dec. 21. He owns 65,719 shares directly and 1,309,176 shares indirectly.

MARRIOTT CORP.

Arthur B. Bryan Jr., an officer of Bethesda-based Marriott Corp., acquired 1,000 common shares through a plan at $1 each Jan. 2. Bryan hold 10,422 shares directly.

McCORMICK & CO.

John P. Thompson, an officer of McCormick & Co. of Hunt Valley, Md., gave a gift of 5,000 class V common shares Dec. 10, and now owns 15,384 class V shares directly.

MCI COMMUNICATIONS CORP.

Smith Carlile Bolton Jr., a vice president of MCI Communications Corp. of Washington, exercised options to purchase 2,400 common shares at $5.38 each Dec. 28, to bring his direct holdings to 27,288 shares.

Edwin K. Hall, a vice president, exercised options to purchase 1,360 common shares at the same price Dec. 1. He now owns 8,435 shares directly.

William G. McGowan, chairman, gave a 15,000 common-share gift Dec. 31. He currently controls 3,950,889 shares directly.

Bert C. Roberts Jr., president, gave a 3,000 common-share gift Dec. 3, dropping his direct holdings to 154,930 shares.

John R. Worthington, an officer and director, gave a 1,000 common-share gift Dec. 17. He now owns 135,585 shares directly and 83,000 shares indirectly.

MERRY-GO-ROUND ENTERPRISES INC.

Kenneth Rodriguez, an officer of Merry-Go-Round Enterprises Inc. of Joppa, Md., gave a 2,100-common-share gift Dec. 19, dropping his direct holding to 103,814 shares.

RYLAND GROUP INC.

William G. Kagler, a director of Ryland Group Inc. of Columbia, Md., purchased 1,000 common shares at $15.13 each Jan. 4, and now holds 10,000 shares directly.

SYSTEMS CENTER INC.

Several executives and shareholders of Reston-based Systems Center Inc. reported common-stock transactions:

Arthur H. Allen, a vice president, acquired 1,768 shares through exchanges for an undisclosed price Dec. 21, bringing his direct holding to 6,224 shares.

Director John J. Barry III exercised options to purchase 7,646 shares at $1.15 each Dec. 12, and now holds 7,646 shares directly.

Director Paula J. Brooks acquired 130,790 shares through exchanges for an unreported price Dec. 21. She currently owns 142,660 shares directly and 1,158,932 shares indirectly.

Robert E. Cook, chairman, acquired 126,548 shares through exchanges at an undisclosed price Dec. 21. Cook presently controls 1,158,804 shares directly and 372,868 shares indirectly.

Bruns H. Grayson, a director, acquired 1,414 shares through exchanges, also for unreported prices Dec. 21. Grayson owns 1,914 shares directly and 291,504 shares indirectly.

Ellen M. Kirsh, a vice president, purchased 2,000 shares Dec. 24 at $5 each, and now holds 2,000 shares indirectly.

Gene Riechers, a shareholder, acquired 1,768 shares through exchanges Dec. 21 for an unnamed price, and currently holds 17,218 shares directly.

James D. Webster, a director, acquired 31,830 shares through exchanges Dec. 21 for an unreported amount. Webster owns 53,232 shares directly and 5,100 shares indirectly.

Steven D. Whiteman, shareholder, exercised options to purchase 3,825 shares at $1.15 each Dec. 11. He holds 17,899 shares directly.

TEMPEST TECHNOLOGIES INC.

Alan R. Stewart, a shareholder of Herndon-based Tempest Technologies Inc., sold 7,559 common shares at 38 cents each Dec. 16 and no longer holds any common shares.

USF&G CORP.

Chairman Norman P. Blake Jr. of Baltimore-based USF&G Corp. purchased 11,000 common shares Dec. 4 through Jan. 1 at $7.88 to $9.38 each and now holds 11,000 shares directly.

Charles W. Boone, a vice president, sold 14,916 common shares at $7.88 each Dec. 20, and no longer owns any common shares.

Jeanne H. Eddy, an affiliated person, purchased 1,000 common shares at $9.13 each Dec. 5, and now holds 1,901 shares directly.

James A. Flick Jr., a vice president, purchased 2,000 common shares Dec. 4 at $9.50 each, to bring his direct holdings to 4,000 shares.

WASHINGTON CORP.

Director Dominic F. Antonelli Jr. of Washington Corp. of Chevy Chase privately purchased 100,000 common shares at 3 cents each Dec. 28. Antonelli owns 455,162 shares directly and 5,250 shares indirectly.

William N. Demas, chairman, privately sold 100,000 common shares at the same price Dec. 28, and purchased 1,000 common shares at an undisclosed price Dec. 31. Demas controls 223,554 shares directly and 5,100 shares indirectly.

Patrick O. Mayberry, an officer, purchased 6,191 common shares at 13 cents each Dec. 27, and now owns 6,191 shares directly.

John David Wolf, also an officer, sold 6,191 common shares, also at 13 cents Dec. 27, and no longer holds any common shares.