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Is Enerplus Corporation's (TSE:ERF) CEO Pay Justified?

Simply Wall St

Ian Dundas has been the CEO of Enerplus Corporation (TSE:ERF) since 2013. 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 method should give us information to assess how appropriately the company pays the CEO.

Check out our latest analysis for Enerplus

How Does Ian Dundas's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that Enerplus Corporation is worth CA$2.3b, and total annual CEO compensation was reported as CA$4.0m for the year to December 2018. While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at CA$527k. Importantly, there may be performance hurdles relating to the non-salary component of the total compensation. We examined companies with market caps from CA$1.3b to CA$4.2b, and discovered that the median CEO total compensation of that group was CA$2.9m.

Thus we can conclude that Ian Dundas receives more in total compensation than the median of a group of companies in the same market, and of similar size to Enerplus 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.

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

TSX:ERF CEO Compensation, September 25th 2019

Is Enerplus Corporation Growing?

Enerplus Corporation has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 56% a year, over the last three years (using a line of best fit). It achieved revenue growth of 24% over the last year.

This shows that the company has improved itself over the last few years. Good news for shareholders. It's a real positive to see this sort of growth in a single year. That suggests a healthy and growing business. Shareholders might be interested in this free visualization of analyst forecasts.

Has Enerplus Corporation Been A Good Investment?

Enerplus Corporation has served shareholders reasonably well, with a total return of 29% over three years. But they would probably prefer not to see CEO compensation far in excess of the median.

In Summary...


We compared total CEO remuneration at Enerplus Corporation 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.

However, the earnings per share growth over three years is certainly impressive. Looking at the same time period, we think that the shareholder returns are respectable. So, considering the EPS growth we do not wish to criticize the level of CEO compensation, though we'd recommend further research on management. Whatever your view on compensation, you might want to check if insiders are buying or selling Enerplus 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.

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.