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How Should Investors React To Aspen Group, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:ASPU) CEO Pay?

Simply Wall St

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Mike Mathews became the CEO of Aspen Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASPU) in 2012. 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. 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.

View our latest analysis for Aspen Group

How Does Mike Mathews's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

According to our data, Aspen Group, Inc. has a market capitalization of US$78m, and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth US$637k. (This number is for the twelve months until April 2018). While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$325k. We took a group of companies with market capitalizations below US$200m, and calculated the median CEO total compensation to be US$452k.

As you can see, Mike Mathews is paid more than the median CEO pay at companies of a similar size, in the same market. However, this does not necessarily mean Aspen Group, Inc. is paying too much. 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 Aspen Group has changed over time.

NasdaqCM:ASPU CEO Compensation, June 12th 2019

Is Aspen Group, Inc. Growing?

Over the last three years Aspen Group, Inc. has shrunk its earnings per share by an average of 56% per year (measured with a line of best fit). Its revenue is up 63% over last year.

Investors should note that, over three years, earnings per share are down. On the other hand, the strong revenue growth suggests the business is growing. In conclusion we can't form a strong opinion about business performance yet; but it's one worth watching. It could be important to check this free visual depiction of what analysts expect for the future.

Has Aspen Group, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

Most shareholders would probably be pleased with Aspen Group, Inc. for providing a total return of 109% over three years. 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...

We examined the amount Aspen Group, Inc. pays its CEO, and compared it to the amount paid by similar sized companies. We found that it pays well over the median amount paid in the benchmark group.

While we generally prefer to see stronger EPS growth, there's no arguing with the strong returns to shareholders, over the last three years. So, considering these tasty returns, the CEO compensation may be quite appropriate. Shareholders may want to check for free if Aspen Group insiders are buying or selling shares.

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.