In 2017 John Asbury was appointed CEO of Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation (NASDAQ:AUB). First, this article will compare CEO compensation with compensation at similar sized companies. Next, we’ll consider growth that the business demonstrates. Third, we’ll reflect on the total return to shareholders over three years, as a second measure of business performance. This method should give us information to assess how appropriately the company pays the CEO.
How Does John Asbury’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?
According to our data, Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation has a market capitalization of US$3.0b, and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth US$2.3m. (This figure is for the year to December 2018). We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$674k. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations from US$2.0b to US$6.4b, and the median CEO total compensation was US$5.1m.
A first glance this seems like a real positive for shareholders, since John Asbury is paid less than the average total compensation paid by similar sized companies. Though positive, it’s important we delve into the performance of the actual business.
The graphic below shows how CEO compensation at Atlantic Union Bankshares has changed from year to year.
Is Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation Growing?
On average over the last three years, Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation has grown earnings per share (EPS) by 12% each year (using a line of best fit). In the last year, its revenue is up 25%.
This shows that the company has improved itself over the last few years. Good news for shareholders. This sort of respectable year-on-year revenue growth is often seen at a healthy, growing business.
Has Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation Been A Good Investment?
I think that the total shareholder return of 44%, over three years, would leave most Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation shareholders smiling. So they may not be at all concerned if the CEO were to be paid more than is normal for companies around the same size.
It looks like Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation pays its CEO less than similar sized companies. Considering the underlying business is growing earnings, this would suggest the pay is modest. The pleasing shareholder returns are the cherry on top; you might even consider that John Asbury deserves a raise!
It is relatively rare to see a modestly paid CEO when performance is so impressive. The cherry on top would be if company insiders are buying shares with their own money. Whatever your view on compensation, you might want to check if insiders are buying or selling Atlantic Union Bankshares shares (free trial).
Important note: Atlantic Union Bankshares may not be the best stock to buy. You might find something better in this list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.
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