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Is ACCO Brands Corporation's (NYSE:ACCO) CEO Pay Justified?

Simply Wall St

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In 2013 Boris Elisman was appointed CEO of ACCO Brands Corporation (NYSE:ACCO). This report will, first, examine the CEO compensation levels in comparison to CEO compensation at companies of similar size. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for ACCO Brands

How Does Boris Elisman's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

According to our data, ACCO Brands Corporation has a market capitalization of US$792m, and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth US$4.7m. (This figure is for the year to December 2018). That's below the compensation, last year. While this analysis focuses on total compensation, it's worth noting the salary is lower, valued at US$945k. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations from US$400m to US$1.6b, and the median CEO total compensation was US$2.7m.

Thus we can conclude that Boris Elisman receives more in total compensation than the median of a group of companies in the same market, and of similar size to ACCO Brands Corporation. 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.

The graphic below shows how CEO compensation at ACCO Brands has changed from year to year.

NYSE:ACCO CEO Compensation, June 11th 2019

Is ACCO Brands Corporation Growing?

ACCO Brands Corporation has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 6.2% a year, over the last three years (using a line of best fit). It saw its revenue drop -3.3% over the last year.

I would argue that the lack of revenue growth in the last year is less than ideal, but the improvement in EPS is good. These two metric are moving in different directions, so while it's hard to be confident judging performance, we think the stock is worth watching. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has ACCO Brands Corporation Been A Good Investment?

Since shareholders would have lost about 21% over three years, some ACCO Brands Corporation shareholders would surely be feeling negative emotions. It therefore might be upsetting for shareholders if the CEO were paid generously.

In Summary...

We compared the total CEO remuneration paid by ACCO Brands Corporation, and compared it to remuneration at a group of similar sized companies. Our data suggests that it pays above the median CEO pay within that group.

Over the last three years, shareholder returns have been downright disappointing, and the underlying business has failed to impress us. Although we'd stop short of calling it inappropriate, we think the CEO compensation is probably more on the generous side of things. CEO compensation is one thing, but it is also interesting to check if the CEO is buying or selling ACCO Brands (free visualization of insider trades).

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.

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.