How Should Investors React To Universal Corporation’s (NYSE:UVV) CEO Pay?

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George Freeman has been the CEO of Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV) since 2008. This analysis aims first to contrast CEO compensation with other companies that have similar market capitalization. Then we’ll look at a snap shot of the business growth. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Universal

How Does George Freeman’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

At the time of writing our data says that Universal Corporation has a market cap of US$1.5b, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$3.7m. (This figure is for the year to March 2018). We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$900k. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations from US$1.0b to US$3.2b, and the median CEO total compensation was US$4.1m.

So George Freeman receives a similar amount to the median CEO pay, amongst the companies we looked at. Although this fact alone doesn’t tell us a great deal, it becomes more relevant when considered against the business performance.

You can see, below, how CEO compensation at Universal has changed over time.

NYSE:UVV CEO Compensation, June 11th 2019
NYSE:UVV CEO Compensation, June 11th 2019

Is Universal Corporation Growing?

On average over the last three years, Universal Corporation has grown earnings per share (EPS) by 5.1% each year (using a line of best fit). In the last year, its revenue is up 9.5%.

I’m not particularly impressed by the revenue growth, but I’m happy with the modest EPS growth. So there are some positives here, but not enough to earn high praise. Although we don’t have analyst forecasts, shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Has Universal Corporation Been A Good Investment?

With a total shareholder return of 21% over three years, Universal Corporation shareholders would, in general, be reasonably content. But they would probably prefer not to see CEO compensation far in excess of the median.

In Summary…

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

We think many would like to see better growth. While the CEO may not be underpaid, we don’t think the pay is too generous either. If you think CEO compensation levels are interesting you will probably really like this free visualization of insider trading at Universal.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.