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Why Arbutus Biopharma Corporation’s (NASDAQ:ABUS) CEO Pay Matters To You

Mark Murray became the CEO of Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NASDAQ:ABUS) in 2008. This report will, first, examine the CEO compensation levels in comparison to CEO compensation at companies of similar size. Then we’ll look at a snap shot of the business growth. And finally we will reflect on how common stockholders have fared in the last few years, as a secondary measure of performance. This process should give us an idea about how appropriately the CEO is paid.

Check out our latest analysis for Arbutus Biopharma

How Does Mark Murray’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

At the time of writing our data says that Arbutus Biopharma Corporation has a market cap of US$262m, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$1.9m. (This figure is for the year to 2017). While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$540k. As part of our analysis we looked at companies in the same jurisdiction, with market capitalizations of US$100m to US$400m. The median total CEO compensation was US$932k.

Thus we can conclude that Mark Murray receives more in total compensation than the median of a group of companies in the same market, and of similar size to Arbutus Biopharma Corporation. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the pay is too high. A closer look at the performance of the underlying business will give us a better idea about whether the pay is particularly generous.

You can see a visual representation of the CEO compensation at Arbutus Biopharma, below.

NasdaqGS:ABUS CEO Compensation December 5th 18

Is Arbutus Biopharma Corporation Growing?

Arbutus Biopharma Corporation has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 3.6% a year, over the last three years In the last year, its revenue is down -15%.

I would argue that the lack of revenue growth in the last year is less than ideal, but it is good to see EPS growth. In conclusion we can’t form a strong opinion about business performance yet; but it’s one worth watching.

It could be important to check this free visual depiction of what analysts expect for the future.

Has Arbutus Biopharma Corporation Been A Good Investment?

Since shareholders would have lost about 3.3% over three years, some Arbutus Biopharma Corporation shareholders would surely be feeling negative emotions. It therefore might be upsetting for shareholders if the CEO were paid generously.

In Summary…

We compared the total CEO remuneration paid by Arbutus Biopharma Corporation, and compared it to remuneration at a group of similar sized companies. As discussed above, we discovered that the company pays more than the median of that group.

The growth in the business has been uninspiring, but the shareholder returns have arguably been worse, over the last three years. Shareholders may wish to consider further research. Although we don’t think the CEO pay is too high, it is probably more on the generous side of things. Whatever your view on compensation, you might want to check if insiders are buying or selling Arbutus Biopharma shares (free trial).

Or you could feast your eyes on this interactive graph depicting past earnings, cash flow and revenue.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.