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Is ACI Worldwide, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:ACIW) CEO Salary Justified?

Simply Wall St

In 2005 Phil Heasley was appointed CEO of ACI Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACIW). 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 - 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.

View our latest analysis for ACI Worldwide

How Does Phil Heasley's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that ACI Worldwide, Inc. is worth US$4.4b, and total annual CEO compensation was reported as US$6.0m for the year to December 2018. While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$720k. We note that more than half of the total compensation is not the salary; and performance requirements may apply to this non-salary portion. When we examined a selection of companies with market caps ranging from US$2.0b to US$6.4b, we found the median CEO total compensation was US$5.1m.

So Phil Heasley is paid around the average of 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 ACI Worldwide has changed over time.

NasdaqGS:ACIW CEO Compensation, December 30th 2019

Is ACI Worldwide, Inc. Growing?

ACI Worldwide, Inc. has reduced its earnings per share by an average of 3.7% a year, over the last three years (measured with a line of best fit). It achieved revenue growth of 16% over the last year.

Unfortunately, earnings per share have trended lower over the last three years. There's no doubt that the silver lining is that revenue is up. But it isn't sufficiently fast growth to overlook the fact that earnings per share has gone backwards over three years. It's hard to argue the company is firing on all cylinders, so shareholders might be averse to high CEO remuneration. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has ACI Worldwide, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

I think that the total shareholder return of 108%, over three years, would leave most ACI Worldwide, Inc. shareholders smiling. As a result, some may believe the CEO should be paid more than is normal for companies of similar size.

In Summary...

Phil Heasley is paid around the same as most CEOs of similar size companies.

We're not seeing great strides in earnings per share, but the company has clearly pleased some investors, given the returns over the last three years. So we doubt many are complaining about the fairly normal CEO pay. If you think CEO compensation levels are interesting you will probably really like this free visualization of insider trading at ACI Worldwide.

If you want to buy a stock that is better than ACI Worldwide, this free list of high return, low debt companies is a great place to look.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.