Should You Worry About Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:WVVI) CEO Pay Cheque?

In 1988 Jim Bernau was appointed CEO of Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. (NASDAQ:WVVI). This report will, first, examine the CEO compensation levels in comparison to CEO compensation at companies of similar size. 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. This process should give us an idea about how appropriately the CEO is paid.

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Check out our latest analysis for Willamette Valley Vineyards

How Does Jim Bernau’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

According to our data, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. has a market capitalization of US$36m, and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth US$580k. (This is based on the year to December 2018). We note that’s an increase of 11% above last year. We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$265k. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations under US$200m, and the median CEO total compensation was US$450k.

So Jim Bernau receives a similar amount to the median CEO pay, amongst the companies we looked at. While this data point isn’t particularly informative alone, it gains more meaning when considered with business performance.

You can see, below, how CEO compensation at Willamette Valley Vineyards has changed over time.

NasdaqCM:WVVI CEO Compensation, May 22nd 2019
NasdaqCM:WVVI CEO Compensation, May 22nd 2019

Is Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. Growing?

On average over the last three years, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. has grown earnings per share (EPS) by 3.3% each year (using a line of best fit). Its revenue is up 12% over last year.

I would argue that the modest growth in revenue is a notable positive. And the improvement in earnings per share is modest but respectable. Although we’ll stop short of calling the stock a top performer, we think the company has potential. We don’t have analyst forecasts, but you could get a better understanding of its growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Has Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. has not done too badly by shareholders, with a total return of 0.5%, over three years. But they probably don’t want to see the CEO paid more than is normal for companies around the same size.

In Summary…

Remuneration for Jim Bernau is close enough to the median pay for a CEO of a similar sized company .

The company isn’t showing particularly great growth, and shareholder turns haven’t been particularly inspiring in the last few years. While the CEO may not be underpaid, we don’t think the pay is too generous either. Whatever your view on compensation, you might want to check if insiders are buying or selling Willamette Valley Vineyards shares (free trial).

Important note: Willamette Valley Vineyards 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.