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Is Hancock Whitney Corporation's (NASDAQ:HWC) CEO Pay Justified?

Simply Wall St

John Hairston became the CEO of Hancock Whitney Corporation (NASDAQ:HWC) in 2008. This analysis aims first to contrast CEO compensation with other companies that have similar market capitalization. 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. This process should give us an idea about how appropriately the CEO is paid.

See our latest analysis for Hancock Whitney

How Does John Hairston's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

According to our data, Hancock Whitney Corporation has a market capitalization of US$3.6b, and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth US$3.7m. (This is based on the year to December 2018). That's a modest increase of 4.5% on the prior year year. While this analysis focuses on total compensation, it's worth noting the salary is lower, valued at US$910k. We examined companies with market caps from US$2.0b to US$6.4b, and discovered that the median CEO total compensation of that group was US$5.0m.

That means John Hairston receives fairly typical remuneration for the CEO of a company that size. While this data point isn't particularly informative alone, it gains more meaning when considered with business performance.

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

NasdaqGS:HWC CEO Compensation, April 22nd 2019

Is Hancock Whitney Corporation Growing?

Hancock Whitney Corporation has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 35% a year, over the last three years (using a line of best fit). Its revenue is up 8.1% over last year.

Overall this is a positive result for shareholders, showing that the company has improved in recent years. It's also good to see modest revenue growth, suggesting the underlying business is healthy. It could be important to check this free visual depiction of what analysts expect for the future.

Has Hancock Whitney Corporation Been A Good Investment?

I think that the total shareholder return of 75%, over three years, would leave most Hancock Whitney Corporation shareholders smiling. This strong performance might mean some shareholders don't mind if the CEO were to be paid more than is normal for a company of its size.

In Summary...

John Hairston is paid around what is normal the leaders of comparable size companies.

Few would be critical of the leadership, since returns have been juicy and earnings per share are moving in the right direction. So one could argue the CEO compensation is quite modest, if you consider company performance! If you think CEO compensation levels are interesting you will probably really like this free visualization of insider trading at Hancock Whitney.

Important note: Hancock Whitney may not be the best stock to buy. You might find something better in this list of interesting companies with high ROE 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.