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Is Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:CZWI) CEO Salary Justified?

Lee Kay

In 2016 Steve Bianchi was appointed CEO of Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CZWI). First, this article will compare CEO compensation with compensation at similar sized companies. After that, we will consider the growth in the business. Third, we’ll reflect on the total return to shareholders over three years, as a second measure of business performance. The aim of all this is to consider the appropriateness of CEO pay levels.

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How Does Steve Bianchi’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. is worth US$123m, and total annual CEO compensation is US$547k. (This is based on the year to 2018). Notably, that’s an increase of 26% over the year before. We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$314k. We examined a group of similar sized companies, with market capitalizations of below US$200m. The median CEO compensation in that group is US$303k.

As you can see, Steve Bianchi is paid more than the median CEO pay at companies of a similar size, in the same market. However, this does not necessarily mean Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. is paying too much. A closer look at the performance of the underlying business will give us a better idea about whether the pay is particularly generous.

The graphic below shows how CEO compensation at Citizens Community Bancorp has changed from year to year.

NasdaqGM:CZWI CEO Compensation January 15th 19

Is Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. Growing?

Over the last three years Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 1.6% per year (using a line of best fit). It achieved revenue growth of 38% over the 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 Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

With a total shareholder return of 21% over three years, Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. 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…

We compared total CEO remuneration at Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. with the amount paid at companies with a similar market capitalization. Our data suggests that it pays above the median CEO pay within that group.

One might like to have seen stronger growth, and the shareholder returns have failed to inspire, over the last three years. Considering this, we wouldn’t want to see any big pay rises, although we’d stop short of calling the CEO compensation unfair. CEO compensation is one thing, but it is also interesting to check if the CEO is buying or selling Citizens Community Bancorp (free visualization of insider trades).

Or you could feast your eyes on this interactive graph depicting past earnings, cash flow and revenue.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.