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Is The First Bancshares Inc’s (NASDAQ:FBMS) CEO Paid Enough Relative To Peers?

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Hoppy Cole became the CEO of The First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:FBMS) in 2009. This analysis aims first to contrast CEO compensation with other companies that have similar market capitalization. Then we’ll look at a snap shot of the business growth. 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 First Bancshares

How Does Hoppy Cole’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that The First Bancshares Inc is worth US$527m, and total annual CEO compensation is US$939k. (This is based on the year to 2017). While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$386k. 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.

A first glance this seems like a real positive for shareholders, since Hoppy Cole is paid less than the average compensation paid by similar sized companies. However, before we heap on the praise, we should delve deeper to understand business performance.

You can see a visual representation of the CEO compensation at First Bancshares, below.

NasdaqGM:FBMS CEO Compensation November 30th 18
NasdaqGM:FBMS CEO Compensation November 30th 18

Is The First Bancshares Inc Growing?

On average over the last three years, The First Bancshares Inc has shrunk earnings per share by 9.5% each year. In the last year, its revenue is up 34%.

The reduction in earnings per share, over three years, is arguably concerning. But in contrast the revenue growth is strong, suggesting future potential for earnings growth. In conclusion we can’t form a strong opinion about business performance yet; but it’s one worth watching.

Shareholders might be interested in this free visualization of analyst forecasts. .

Has The First Bancshares Inc Been A Good Investment?

I think that the total shareholder return of 108%, over three years, would leave most The First Bancshares Inc shareholders smiling. So they may not be at all concerned if the CEO is paid more than is normal for companies around the same size.

In Summary…

The First Bancshares Inc is currently paying its CEO below what is normal for companies of its size.

Hoppy Cole is paid less than what is normal at similar size companies, and the total shareholder return has been pleasing over the last three years. We would like to see EPS growth, but in our view it seems the CEO is modestly remunerated. Shareholders may want to check for free if First Bancshares insiders are buying or selling shares.

Or you might prefer this data-rich interactive visualization of historic revenue and earnings.

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.