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Does Agenus Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AGEN) CEO Pay Matter?

Simply Wall St

Garo Armen became the CEO of Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN) in 1994. 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 we will reflect on how common stockholders have fared in the last few years, as a secondary measure of performance. The aim of all this is to consider the appropriateness of CEO pay levels.

See our latest analysis for Agenus

How Does Garo Armen's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that Agenus Inc. is worth US$360m, and total annual CEO compensation was reported as US$2.6m for the year to December 2018. While this analysis focuses on total compensation, it's worth noting the salary is lower, valued at US$610k. Importantly, there may be performance hurdles relating to the non-salary component of the total compensation. When we examined a selection of companies with market caps ranging from US$200m to US$800m, we found the median CEO total compensation was US$1.8m.

It would therefore appear that Agenus Inc. pays Garo Armen more than the median CEO remuneration at companies of a similar size, in the same market. However, this fact alone doesn't mean the remuneration is too high. We can get a better idea of how generous the pay is by looking at the performance of the underlying business.

You can see, below, how CEO compensation at Agenus has changed over time.

NasdaqCM:AGEN CEO Compensation, October 19th 2019
NasdaqCM:AGEN CEO Compensation, October 19th 2019

Is Agenus Inc. Growing?

On average over the last three years, Agenus Inc. has grown earnings per share (EPS) by 4.7% each year (using a line of best fit). Its revenue is up 293% over last year.

I like the look of the strong year-on-year improvement in revenue. With that in mind, the modestly improving EPS seems positive. 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 Agenus Inc. Been A Good Investment?

Given the total loss of 54% over three years, many shareholders in Agenus Inc. are probably rather dissatisfied, to say the least. This suggests it would be unwise for the company to pay the CEO too generously.

In Summary...

We examined the amount Agenus Inc. pays its CEO, and compared it to the amount paid by similar sized companies. As discussed above, we discovered that the company pays more than the median of that group.

Over the last three years, shareholder returns have been downright disappointing, and the underlying business has failed to impress us. Shareholders may wish to consider further research. Although we don't think the CEO pay is too high, it 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 Agenus (free visualization of insider trades).

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.