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How Should Investors React To Sterling Bancorp's (NYSE:STL) CEO Pay?

Simply Wall St

In 2011 Jack Kopnisky was appointed CEO of Sterling Bancorp (NYSE:STL). 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. The aim of all this is to consider the appropriateness of CEO pay levels.

See our latest analysis for Sterling Bancorp

How Does Jack Kopnisky's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

According to our data, Sterling Bancorp has a market capitalization of US$4.4b, and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth US$4.3m. (This figure is for the year to December 2018). We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$850k. When we examined a selection of companies with market caps ranging from US$2.0b to US$6.4b, we found the median CEO total compensation was US$5.2m.

So Jack Kopnisky is paid around the average of the companies we looked at. Although this fact alone doesn't tell us a great deal, it becomes more relevant when considered against the business performance.

You can see a visual representation of the CEO compensation at Sterling Bancorp, below.

NYSE:STL CEO Compensation, July 23rd 2019

Is Sterling Bancorp Growing?

Over the last three years Sterling Bancorp has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 26% per year (using a line of best fit). Its revenue is up 38% over last year.

This demonstrates that the company has been improving recently. A good result. It's great to see that revenue growth is strong, too. These metrics suggest the business is growing strongly. Shareholders might be interested in this free visualization of analyst forecasts.

Has Sterling Bancorp Been A Good Investment?

With a total shareholder return of 30% over three years, Sterling Bancorp shareholders would, in general, be reasonably content. But they probably don't want to see the CEO paid more than is normal for companies around the same size.

In Summary...

Jack Kopnisky is paid around what is normal the leaders of comparable size companies.

We would wish for better returns (whether dividends or capital gains) but we do admire the solid EPS growth on show here. As a result of these considerations, I would suggest the CEO pay is reasonable. Whatever your view on compensation, you might want to check if insiders are buying or selling Sterling Bancorp shares (free trial).

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.