How Is Waste Management's (NYSE:WM) CEO Paid Relative To Peers?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 29, 2020

This article will reflect on the compensation paid to Jim Fish who has served as CEO of Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) since 2016. This analysis will also evaluate the appropriateness of CEO compensation when taking into account the earnings and shareholder returns of the company.

See our latest analysis for Waste Management

Comparing Waste Management, Inc.'s CEO Compensation With the industry

Our data indicates that Waste Management, Inc. has a market capitalization of US$50b, and total annual CEO compensation was reported as US$11m for the year to December 2019. Notably, that's an increase of 24% over the year before. We think total compensation is more important but our data shows that the CEO salary is lower, at US$1.2m.

For comparison, other companies in the industry with market capitalizations above US$8.0b, reported a median total CEO compensation of US$9.0m. So it looks like Waste Management compensates Jim Fish in line with the median for the industry. Moreover, Jim Fish also holds US$29m worth of Waste Management stock directly under their own name, which reveals to us that they have a significant personal stake in the company.

Component20192018Proportion (2019)
Salary US$1.2m US$1.2m 11%
Other US$10m US$8.0m 89%
Total CompensationUS$11m US$9.1m100%

Speaking on an industry level, nearly 23% of total compensation represents salary, while the remainder of 77% is other remuneration. Waste Management pays a modest slice of remuneration through salary, as compared to the broader industry. It's important to note that a slant towards non-salary compensation suggests that total pay is tied to the company's performance.

NYSE:WM CEO Compensation December 29th 2020

Waste Management, Inc.'s Growth

Over the past three years, Waste Management, Inc. has seen its earnings per share (EPS) grow by 4.3% per year. Its revenue is down 2.9% over the previous year.

We would argue that the lack of revenue growth in the last year is less than ideal, but it is good to see a modest EPS growth at least. In conclusion we can't form a strong opinion about business performance yet; but it's one worth watching. Historical performance can sometimes be a good indicator on what's coming up next but if you want to peer into the company's future you might be interested in this free visualization of analyst forecasts.

Has Waste Management, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

We think that the total shareholder return of 45%, over three years, would leave most Waste Management, Inc. 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.

In Summary...

As we noted earlier, Waste Management pays its CEO in line with similar-sized companies belonging to the same industry. However, the company's EPS growth numbers over the last three years is not that impressive. On the other hand, shareholder returns over the same period have been very healthy. So while shareholders shouldn't be overly concerned about CEO compensation, we suspect most would prefer to see improved performance, before a bump in pay.

While it is important to pay attention to CEO remuneration, investors should also consider other elements of the business. We did our research and spotted 2 warning signs for Waste Management that investors should look into moving forward.

Arguably, business quality is much more important than CEO compensation levels. So check out this free list of interesting companies that have HIGH return on equity and low debt.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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