Ex-Emeritus boss in huge Brookdale stock sales

Half dozen other insiders also trim stakes to tune of $3.8M

It looks like Granger Cobb is a big believer in diversifying his investments.

The former president and CEO of Emeritus Corp., which Brookdale recently acquired for $2.8 billion, late last week sold more than 80 percent of his newly acquired Brookdale shares. Over the course of two days, Cobb's sales padded his bank account by $17.1 million. Following those transactions, 53-year-old Cobb — now a director at Brookdale but without an executive role — still owns $3.9 million worth of Brookdale shares.

The stock of Brentwood-based Brookdale (Ticker: BKD) popped early this year when Brookdale CEO Andy Smith announced his deal for Emeritus, which created a company with more than 110,000 units in almost 1,200 communities in 46 states. Since then, the shares have traded in a narrow range but analysts are upbeat about their prospects, with their median price target being $42, more than 20 percent above where they are now. Most recently, Peter Martin at JMP Securities hiked his target to $46 from $40 and said he is "very comfortable" with Brookdale's profit growth goals.

A fistful of other Brookdale insiders also have taken the opportunity to book some profits in the past week and change. Combined, they took in more than $3.8 million.

• Todd Kaestner, Brookdale's executive vice president of development, cut his holdings in the company by about 30 percent, grossing more than $1.7 million.

• COO Gregory Richard unloaded 16,000 of his almost 240,000 shares, bringing in almost $522,000.

• Chief Accounting Officer Kristin Ferge trimmed her stake in the company by about 11 percent. Her sales generated $495,000.

• Chief Administrative Officer Bryan Richardson generated almost $400,000 from the sale of 12,000 shares.

• Chief People Officer Glenn Maul sold about 11,500 of his more than 90,000 shares for about $375,000.

• Director Mark Schulte banked $331,000 by selling 10,000 of his shares.