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Is Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE) Excessively Paying Its CEO?

Andrew Littlefair has been the CEO of Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE) since 2001. 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 we will reflect on how common stockholders have fared in the last few years, as a secondary measure of performance. This method should give us information to assess how appropriately the company pays the CEO.

See our latest analysis for Clean Energy Fuels

How Does Andrew Littlefair’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

According to our data, Clean Energy Fuels Corp has a market capitalization of US$442m, and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth US$2.3m. (This number is for the twelve months until 2017). While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$701k. As part of our analysis we looked at companies in the same jurisdiction, with market capitalizations of US$200m to US$800m. The median total CEO compensation was US$1.6m.

Thus we can conclude that Andrew Littlefair receives more in total compensation than the median of a group of companies in the same market, and of similar size to Clean Energy Fuels Corp. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the pay is too high. We can better assess whether the pay is overly generous by looking into the underlying business performance.

You can see a visual representation of the CEO compensation at Clean Energy Fuels, below.

NasdaqGS:CLNE CEO Compensation December 9th 18

Is Clean Energy Fuels Corp Growing?

Clean Energy Fuels Corp has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 33% a year, over the last three years Its revenue is down -4.1% over last year.

This demonstrates that the company has been improving recently. A good result. While it would be good to see revenue growth, profits matter more in the end.

You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has Clean Energy Fuels Corp Been A Good Investment?

With a three year total loss of 44%, Clean Energy Fuels Corp would certainly have some dissatisfied shareholders. So shareholders would probably think the company shouldn’t be too generous with CEO compensation.

In Summary…

We examined the amount Clean Energy Fuels Corp pays its CEO, and compared it to the amount paid by similar sized companies. Our data suggests that it pays above the median CEO pay within that group.

Importantly, though, the company has impressed with its earnings per share growth, over three years. However, the returns to investors are far less impressive, over the same period. One might thus conclude that it would be better if the company waited until growth is reflected in the share price, before increasing CEO compensation. CEO compensation is one thing, but it is also interesting to check if the CEO is buying or selling Clean Energy Fuels (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.