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Is Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc.'s (NYSEMKT:HEB) CEO Pay Justified?

Simply Wall St

Thomas Equels has been the CEO of Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. (NYSEMKT:HEB) since 2016. First, this article will compare CEO compensation with compensation at similar sized companies. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Hemispherx Biopharma

How Does Thomas Equels's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

According to our data, Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. has a market capitalization of US$4.5m, and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth US$1.2m. (This figure is for the year to December 2018). While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$751k. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations under US$200m, and the median CEO total compensation was US$481k.

Thus we can conclude that Thomas Equels receives more in total compensation than the median of a group of companies in the same market, and of similar size to Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc.. 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 Hemispherx Biopharma has changed over time.

AMEX:HEB CEO Compensation, August 8th 2019

Is Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. Growing?

On average over the last three years, Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. has grown earnings per share (EPS) by 36% each year (using a line of best fit). It saw its revenue drop -24% over the last year.

This demonstrates that the company has been improving recently. A good result. While it would be good to see revenue growth, profits matter more in the end. It could be important to check this free visual depiction of what analysts expect for the future.

Has Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

With a three year total loss of 98%, Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. would certainly have some dissatisfied shareholders. This suggests it would be unwise for the company to pay the CEO too generously.

In Summary...

We compared the total CEO remuneration paid by Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc., and compared it to remuneration at a group of similar sized companies. We found that it pays well over the median amount paid in the benchmark group.

However, the earnings per share growth over three years is certainly impressive. Having said that, shareholders may be disappointed with the weak returns over the last three years. While EPS is positive, we'd say shareholders would want better returns before the CEO is paid much more. Shareholders may want to check for free if Hemispherx Biopharma insiders are buying or selling shares.

Important note: Hemispherx Biopharma 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.