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How Should Investors React To Lakeland Financial Corporation’s (NASDAQ:LKFN) CEO Pay?

Simply Wall St

David Findlay has been the CEO of Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN) since 2014. This analysis aims first to contrast CEO compensation with other companies that have similar market capitalization. After that, we will consider the growth in the business. And finally – as a second measure of performance – we will look at the returns shareholders have received over the last few years. This method should give us information to assess how appropriately the company pays the CEO.

Check out our latest analysis for Lakeland Financial

How Does David Findlay’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that Lakeland Financial Corporation is worth US$1.2b, and total annual CEO compensation is US$1.6m. (This is based on the year to December 2017). We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$549k. We examined companies with market caps from US$1.0b to US$3.2b, and discovered that the median CEO compensation of that group was US$3.4m.

This would give shareholders a good impression of the company, since most similar size companies have to pay more, leaving less for shareholders. While this is a good thing, you’ll need to understand the business better before you can form an opinion.

You can see a visual representation of the CEO compensation at Lakeland Financial, below.

NasdaqGS:LKFN CEO Compensation, February 26th 2019

Is Lakeland Financial Corporation Growing?

Over the last three years Lakeland Financial Corporation has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 16% per year (using a line of best fit). Its revenue is up 9.5% over last year.

This shows that the company has improved itself over the last few years. Good news for shareholders. It’s good to see a bit of revenue growth, as this suggests the business is able to grow sustainably. It could be important to check this free visual depiction of what analysts expect for the future.

Has Lakeland Financial Corporation Been A Good Investment?

Boasting a total shareholder return of 81% over three years, Lakeland Financial Corporation has done well by shareholders. 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 looks like Lakeland Financial Corporation pays its CEO less than similar sized companies. Many would consider this to indicate that the pay is modest since the business is growing. The pleasing shareholder returns are the cherry on top; you might even consider that David Findlay deserves a raise!

It’s not often we see shareholders do so well, and yet the CEO is paid modestly. It would be even more positive if company insiders are buying shares. CEO compensation is one thing, but it is also interesting to check if the CEO is buying or selling Lakeland Financial (free visualization of insider trades).

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.