Why United Natural Foods, Inc.’s (NYSE:UNFI) CEO Pay Matters To You

Steve Spinner became the CEO of United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFI) in 2008. This analysis aims first to contrast CEO compensation with other companies that have similar market capitalization. Next, we’ll consider growth that the business demonstrates. And finally we will reflect on how common stockholders have fared in the last few years, as a secondary measure of performance. The aim of all this is to consider the appropriateness of CEO pay levels.

See our latest analysis for United Natural Foods

How Does Steve Spinner’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

At the time of writing our data says that United Natural Foods, Inc. has a market cap of US$658m, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$5.1m. (This number is for the twelve months until July 2018). While this analysis focuses on total compensation, it’s worth noting the salary is lower, valued at US$942k. When we examined a selection of companies with market caps ranging from US$400m to US$1.6b, we found the median CEO total compensation was US$2.3m.

It would therefore appear that United Natural Foods, Inc. pays Steve Spinner 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 better assess whether the pay is overly generous by looking into the underlying business performance.

You can see a visual representation of the CEO compensation at United Natural Foods, below.

NYSE:UNFI CEO Compensation, April 19th 2019
NYSE:UNFI CEO Compensation, April 19th 2019

Is United Natural Foods, Inc. Growing?

Over the last three years United Natural Foods, Inc. has shrunk its earnings per share by an average of 34% per year (measured with a line of best fit). In the last year, its revenue is up 47%.

Investors should note that, over three years, earnings per share are down. On the other hand, the strong revenue growth suggests the business is growing. It’s hard to reach a conclusion about business performance right now. This may be one to watch. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has United Natural Foods, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

With a three year total loss of 63%, United Natural Foods, Inc. would certainly have some dissatisfied shareholders. It therefore might be upsetting for shareholders if the CEO were paid generously.

In Summary…

We compared total CEO remuneration at United Natural Foods, Inc. with the amount paid at companies with a similar market capitalization. We found that it pays well over the median amount paid in the benchmark group.

Over the last three years, shareholder returns have been downright disappointing, and the underlying business has failed to impress us. Shareholders may wish to consider further research. Although we don’t think the CEO pay is too high, it is probably more on the generous side of things. If you think CEO compensation levels are interesting you will probably really like this free visualization of insider trading at United Natural Foods.

Important note: United Natural Foods 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.