U.S. Markets closed

Does McDonald's Corporation's (NYSE:MCD) CEO Pay Matter?

Simply Wall St

Want to participate in a research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and earn a $60 gift card!

Steve Easterbrook has been the CEO of McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) since 2015. This analysis aims first to contrast CEO compensation with other large 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 method should give us information to assess how appropriately the company pays the CEO.

Check out our latest analysis for McDonald's

How Does Steve Easterbrook's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

At the time of writing our data says that McDonald's Corporation has a market cap of US$145b, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$22m. (This figure is for the year to December 2017). While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$1.3m. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations over US$8.0b and the median CEO total compensation was US$11m. Once you start looking at very large companies, you need to take a broader range, because there simply aren't that many of them.

Thus we can conclude that Steve Easterbrook receives more in total compensation than the median of a group of large companies in the same market as McDonald's Corporation. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the pay is too high. A closer look at the performance of the underlying business will give us a better idea about whether the pay is particularly generous.

You can see, below, how CEO compensation at McDonald's has changed over time.

NYSE:MCD CEO Compensation, March 31st 2019

Is McDonald's Corporation Growing?

On average over the last three years, McDonald's Corporation has grown earnings per share (EPS) by 13% each year (using a line of best fit). It saw its revenue drop -7.9% over the last year.

This shows that the company has improved itself over the last few years. Good news for shareholders. The lack of revenue growth isn't ideal, but it is the bottom line that counts most in business. Shareholders might be interested in this free visualization of analyst forecasts.

Has McDonald's Corporation Been A Good Investment?

I think that the total shareholder return of 62%, over three years, would leave most McDonald's Corporation shareholders smiling. So they may not be at all concerned if the CEO were to be paid more than is normal for companies around the same size.

In Summary...

We examined the amount McDonald's Corporation pays its CEO, and compared it to the amount paid by other large companies. We found that it pays well over the median amount paid in the benchmark group.

Importantly, though, the company has impressed with its earnings per share growth, over three years. Even better, returns to shareholders have been plentiful, over the same time period. So, considering this good performance, the CEO compensation may be quite appropriate. If you think CEO compensation levels are interesting you will probably really like this free visualization of insider trading at McDonald's.

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.