In 2015 Caren Mason was appointed CEO of STAAR Surgical Company (NASDAQ:STAA). First, this article will compare CEO compensation with compensation at similar sized companies. After that, we will consider the growth in the business. 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.
How Does Caren Mason's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?
At the time of writing our data says that STAAR Surgical Company has a market cap of US$1.5b, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$2.6m. (This is based on the year to December 2018). We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$585k. When we examined a selection of companies with market caps ranging from US$1.0b to US$3.2b, we found the median CEO total compensation was US$3.9m.
A first glance this seems like a real positive for shareholders, since Caren Mason is paid less than the average total compensation paid by similar sized 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 STAAR Surgical, below.
Is STAAR Surgical Company Growing?
Over the last three years STAAR Surgical Company has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 111% per year (using a line of best fit). In the last year, its revenue is up 33%.
This shows that the company has improved itself over the last few years. Good news for shareholders. 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 STAAR Surgical Company Been A Good Investment?
I think that the total shareholder return of 393%, over three years, would leave most STAAR Surgical Company shareholders smiling. As a result, some may believe the CEO should be paid more than is normal for companies of similar size.
STAAR Surgical Company is currently paying its CEO below what is normal for companies of its size. 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 Caren Mason deserves a raise!
It's not often we see shareholders do so well, and yet the CEO is paid modestly. But it is even better if company insiders are also buying shares with their own money. CEO compensation is one thing, but it is also interesting to check if the CEO is buying or selling STAAR Surgical (free visualization of insider trades).
If you want to buy a stock that is better than STAAR Surgical, this free list of high return, low debt companies is a great place to look.
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