Garo Armen has been the CEO of Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN) since 1994. 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. The aim of all this is to consider the appropriateness of CEO pay levels.
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How Does Garo Armen’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?
Our data indicates that Agenus Inc. is worth US$396m, and total annual CEO compensation is US$2.6m. (This is based on the year to December 2018). That’s below the compensation, last year. We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$610k. When we examined a selection of companies with market caps ranging from US$200m to US$800m, we found the median CEO total compensation was US$1.8m.
Thus we can conclude that Garo Armen receives more in total compensation than the median of a group of companies in the same market, and of similar size to Agenus Inc.. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the pay is too high. We can get a better idea of how generous the pay is by looking at the performance of the underlying business.
You can see, below, how CEO compensation at Agenus has changed over time.
Is Agenus Inc. Growing?
Agenus Inc. saw earnings per share stay pretty flat over the last three years, albeit with a slight positive trend. Its revenue is up 555% over last year.
It’s hard to interpret the strong revenue growth as anything other than a positive. And in that context, the modest EPS improvement certainly isn’t shabby. So while I’d stop short of saying growth is absolutely outstanding, there are definitely some clear positives! Shareholders might be interested in this free visualization of analyst forecasts.
Has Agenus Inc. Been A Good Investment?
With a three year total loss of 21%, Agenus Inc. would certainly have some dissatisfied shareholders. This suggests it would be unwise for the company to pay the CEO too generously.
We compared the total CEO remuneration paid by Agenus Inc., and compared it to remuneration at a group of similar sized companies. 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. Considering this, we have the opinion that the CEO pay is more on the generous side, than the modest side. Whatever your view on compensation, you might want to check if insiders are buying or selling Agenus shares (free trial).
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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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.