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Does Spark Energy, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:SPKE) CEO Pay Matter?

Simply Wall St

Nathan Kroeker has been the CEO of Spark Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) since 2014. First, this article will compare CEO compensation with compensation at similar sized companies. Next, we'll consider growth that the business demonstrates. 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 Spark Energy

How Does Nathan Kroeker's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that Spark Energy, Inc. is worth US$335m, and total annual CEO compensation was reported as US$1.8m for the year to December 2018. We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$450k. We note that more than half of the total compensation is not the salary; and performance requirements may apply to this non-salary portion. 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$1.7m.

So Nathan Kroeker receives a similar amount to the median CEO pay, amongst the companies we looked at. Although this fact alone doesn't tell us a great deal, it becomes more relevant when considered against the business performance.

The graphic below shows how CEO compensation at Spark Energy has changed from year to year.

NasdaqGS:SPKE CEO Compensation, December 21st 2019

Is Spark Energy, Inc. Growing?

Spark Energy, Inc. has reduced its earnings per share by an average of 77% a year, over the last three years (measured with a line of best fit). Its revenue is down 15% over last year.

Few shareholders would be pleased to read that earnings per share are lower over three years. And the fact that revenue is down year on year arguably paints an ugly picture. It's hard to argue the company is firing on all cylinders, so shareholders might be averse to high CEO remuneration. It could be important to check this free visual depiction of what analysts expect for the future.

Has Spark Energy, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

Since shareholders would have lost about 25% over three years, some Spark Energy, Inc. shareholders would surely be feeling negative emotions. This suggests it would be unwise for the company to pay the CEO too generously.

In Summary...

Nathan Kroeker is paid around the same as most CEOs of similar size companies.

Returns have been disappointing and the company is not growing its earnings per share. Most would consider it prudent for the company to hold off any CEO pay rise until performance improves. Whatever your view on compensation, you might want to check if insiders are buying or selling Spark Energy shares (free trial).

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.