U.S. Markets closed

Is Athersys, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:ATHX) CEO Paid Enough Relative To Peers?

Simply Wall St

Gil Van Bokkelen has been the CEO of Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) since 1995. First, this article will compare CEO compensation with compensation at similar sized companies. Then we’ll look at a snap shot of the business growth. Third, we’ll reflect on the total return to shareholders over three years, as a second measure of business performance. This process should give us an idea about how appropriately the CEO is paid.

Check out our latest analysis for Athersys

How Does Gil Van Bokkelen’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

At the time of writing our data says that Athersys, Inc. has a market cap of US$218m, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$1.5m. (This is based on the year to December 2017). We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$525k. As part of our analysis we looked at companies in the same jurisdiction, with market capitalizations of US$100m to US$400m. The median total CEO compensation was US$902k.

As you can see, Gil Van Bokkelen is paid more than the median CEO pay at companies of a similar size, in the same market. However, this does not necessarily mean Athersys, Inc. is paying too much. We can get a better idea of how generous the pay is by looking at the performance of the underlying business.

You can see a visual representation of the CEO compensation at Athersys, below.

NasdaqCM:ATHX CEO Compensation, February 27th 2019

Is Athersys, Inc. Growing?

Athersys, Inc. has reduced its earnings per share by an average of 17% a year, over the last three years (measured with a line of best fit). It achieved revenue growth of 580% over the last year.

Investors should note that, over three years, earnings per share are down. But in contrast the revenue growth is strong, suggesting future potential for earnings growth. It’s hard to reach a conclusion about business performance right now. This may be one to watch. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has Athersys, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

With a three year total loss of 19%, Athersys, Inc. would certainly have some dissatisfied shareholders. This suggests it would be unwise for the company to pay the CEO too generously.

In Summary…

We compared total CEO remuneration at Athersys, Inc. with the amount paid at companies with a similar market capitalization. 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. Although we’d stop short of calling it inappropriate, we think the CEO compensation is probably more on the generous side of things. If you think CEO compensation levels are interesting you will probably really like this free visualization of insider trading at Athersys.

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.