U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 20 mins

How Should Investors React To Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:WVVI) CEO Pay?

Simply Wall St

In 1988 Jim Bernau was appointed CEO of Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. (NASDAQ:WVVI). First, this article will compare CEO compensation with compensation at similar sized 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 method should give us information to assess how appropriately the company pays the CEO.

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!

See our latest analysis for Willamette Valley Vineyards

How Does Jim Bernau's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

According to our data, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. has a market capitalization of US$35m, and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth US$580k. (This figure is for the year to December 2018). Notably, that's an increase of 11% over the year before. While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$265k. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations under US$200m, and the median CEO total compensation was US$452k.

So Jim Bernau is paid around the average of the companies we looked at. While this data point isn't particularly informative alone, it gains more meaning when considered with business performance.

You can see a visual representation of the CEO compensation at Willamette Valley Vineyards, below.

NasdaqCM:WVVI CEO Compensation, May 24th 2019

Is Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. Growing?

Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 3.3% a year, over the last three years (using a line of best fit). In the last year, its revenue is up 12%.

I would argue that the modest growth in revenue is a notable positive. And, while modest, the earnings per share growth is noticeable. So while performance isn't amazing, we think it really does seem quite respectable. Although we don't have analyst forecasts, you might want to assess this data-rich visualization of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Has Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

Since shareholders would have lost about 1.3% over three years, some Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. shareholders would surely be feeling negative emotions. So shareholders would probably think the company shouldn't be too generous with CEO compensation.

In Summary...

Remuneration for Jim Bernau is close enough to the median pay for a CEO of a similar sized company .

We would like to see somewhat stronger per share growth. And we think the shareholder returns - over three years - have been underwhelming. Shareholders might not feel great about the fact that CEO pay increased on last year. So many would argue that the CEO is certainly not underpaid. Shareholders may want to check for free if Willamette Valley Vineyards 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.