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How Should Investors Feel About Torchmark Corporation's (NYSE:TMK) CEO Pay?

Simply Wall St

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Gary Coleman has been the CEO of Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK) since 2012. This report will, first, examine the CEO compensation levels in comparison to CEO compensation at other big companies. Then we'll look at a snap shot of the business growth. 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 Torchmark

How Does Gary Coleman's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

At the time of writing our data says that Torchmark Corporation has a market cap of US$9.6b, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$7.8m. (This figure is for the year to December 2018). That's actually a decrease on the year before. While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$920k. When we examined a group of companies with market caps over US$8.0b, we found that their median CEO total compensation was US$11m. Once you start looking at very large companies, you need to take a broader range, because there simply aren't that many of them.

A first glance this seems like a real positive for shareholders, since Gary Coleman is paid less than the average total compensation paid by other large 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 Torchmark, below.

NYSE:TMK CEO Compensation, June 27th 2019

Is Torchmark Corporation Growing?

Over the last three years Torchmark Corporation has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 33% per year (using a line of best fit). Its revenue is up 3.6% over last year.

This demonstrates that the company has been improving recently. A good result. It's nice to see a little revenue growth, as this is consistent with healthy business conditions. Shareholders might be interested in this free visualization of analyst forecasts.

Has Torchmark Corporation Been A Good Investment?

I think that the total shareholder return of 49%, over three years, would leave most Torchmark 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...

It appears that Torchmark Corporation remunerates its CEO below most large companies. Since the business is growing, many would argue this suggests the pay is modest. And given most shareholders are probably very happy with recent returns, you might even think that Gary Coleman deserves a raise!

It is relatively rare to see a modestly paid CEO when performance is so impressive. The cherry on top would be if company insiders are buying shares with their own money. If you think CEO compensation levels are interesting you will probably really like this free visualization of insider trading at Torchmark.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.