John Chen became the CEO of BlackBerry Limited (TSE:BB) in 2013. This analysis aims first to contrast CEO compensation with other companies that have similar market capitalization. After that, we will consider the growth in the business. And finally – as a second measure of performance – we will look at the returns shareholders have received over the last few years. This process should give us an idea about how appropriately the CEO is paid.
How Does John Chen’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?
Our data indicates that BlackBerry Limited is worth CA$4.7b, and total annual CEO compensation was reported as US$110m for the year to February 2019. While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$1.0m. We note that more than half of the total compensation is not the salary; and performance requirements may apply to this non-salary portion. As part of our analysis we looked at companies in the same jurisdiction, with market capitalizations of US$2.0b to US$6.4b. The median total CEO compensation was US$2.9m.
It would therefore appear that BlackBerry Limited pays John Chen more than the median CEO remuneration at companies of a similar size, in the same market. However, this fact alone doesn’t mean the remuneration is too high. We can get a better idea of how generous the pay is by looking at the performance of the underlying business.
The graphic below shows how CEO compensation at BlackBerry has changed from year to year.
Is BlackBerry Limited Growing?
BlackBerry Limited has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 66% a year, over the last three years (using a line of best fit). Its revenue is up 15% over last year.
This demonstrates that the company has been improving recently. A good result. It’s a real positive to see this sort of growth in a single year. That suggests a healthy and growing business. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.
Has BlackBerry Limited Been A Good Investment?
Given the total loss of 10% over three years, many shareholders in BlackBerry Limited are probably rather dissatisfied, to say the least. So shareholders would probably think the company shouldn’t be too generous with CEO compensation.
We compared total CEO remuneration at BlackBerry Limited with the amount paid at companies with a similar market capitalization. As discussed above, we discovered that the company pays more than the median of that group.
However we must not forget that the EPS growth has been very strong over three years. On the other hand returns to investors over the same period have probably disappointed many. While EPS is positive, we’d say shareholders would want better returns before the CEO is paid much more. CEO compensation is one thing, but it is also interesting to check if the CEO is buying or selling BlackBerry (free visualization of insider trades).
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.
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