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Is Vertex Energy, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:VTNR) CEO Pay Fair?

Simply Wall St

Ben Cowart has been the CEO of Vertex Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:VTNR) since 2009. 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 Vertex Energy

How Does Ben Cowart's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

At the time of writing our data says that Vertex Energy, Inc. has a market cap of US$49m, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$501k. (This is based on the year to December 2018). While this analysis focuses on total compensation, it's worth noting the salary is lower, valued at US$345k. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations under US$200m, and the median CEO total compensation was US$496k.

That means Ben Cowart receives fairly typical remuneration for the CEO of a company that size. While this data point isn't particularly informative alone, it gains more meaning when considered with business performance.

The graphic below shows how CEO compensation at Vertex Energy has changed from year to year.

NasdaqCM:VTNR CEO Compensation, August 29th 2019

Is Vertex Energy, Inc. Growing?

Over the last three years Vertex Energy, Inc. has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 26% per year (using a line of best fit). Its revenue is up 8.2% over last year.

Overall this is a positive result for shareholders, showing that the company has improved in recent years. It's also good to see modest revenue growth, suggesting the underlying business is healthy. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has Vertex Energy, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

With a three year total loss of 3.2%, Vertex Energy, Inc. would certainly have some dissatisfied shareholders. This suggests it would be unwise for the company to pay the CEO too generously.

In Summary...

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

We think that the EPS growth is very pleasing, but we cannot say the same about the lacklustre shareholder returns (over the last three years). We'd be surprised if shareholders want to see a pay rise for the CEO, but we'd stop short of calling their pay too generous. Shareholders may want to check for free if Vertex Energy insiders are buying or selling shares.

If you want to buy a stock that is better than Vertex Energy, this free list of high return, low debt companies is a great place to look.

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.