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Why West Bancorporation, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:WTBA) CEO Pay Matters To You

Daryl Painter

Dave Nelson has been the CEO of West Bancorporation, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTBA) since 2010. This report will, first, examine the CEO compensation levels in comparison to CEO compensation at companies of similar size. 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 process should give us an idea about how appropriately the CEO is paid.

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How Does Dave Nelson’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

At the time of writing our data says that West Bancorporation, Inc. has a market cap of US$351m, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$967k. (This is based on the year to 2017). While this analysis focuses on total compensation, it’s worth noting the salary is lower, valued at US$400k. As part of our analysis we looked at companies in the same jurisdiction, with market capitalizations of US$200m to US$800m. The median total CEO compensation was US$1.5m.

Most shareholders would consider it a positive that Dave Nelson takes less compensation than the CEOs of most similar size companies, leaving more for shareholders. While this is a good thing, you’ll need to understand the business better before you can form an opinion.

You can see, below, how CEO compensation at West Bancorporation has changed over time.

NASDAQGS:WTBA CEO Compensation January 31st 19

Is West Bancorporation, Inc. Growing?

Over the last three years West Bancorporation, Inc. has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 5.9% per year (using a line of best fit). In the last year, its revenue is up 2.0%.

I’d prefer higher revenue growth, but I’m happy with the modest EPS growth. So there are some positives here, but not enough to earn high praise.

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

Has West Bancorporation, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

I think that the total shareholder return of 36%, over three years, would leave most West Bancorporation, Inc. shareholders smiling. This strong performance might mean some shareholders don’t mind if the CEO were to be paid more than is normal for a company of its size.

In Summary…

It appears that West Bancorporation, Inc. remunerates its CEO below most similar sized companies.

Dave Nelson receives relatively low remuneration compared to similar sized companies. And the returns to shareholders were great, over the last few years. Although we could see higher growth, we’d argue the remuneration is modest, based on these observations. Whatever your view on compensation, you might want to check if insiders are buying or selling West Bancorporation shares (free trial).

Or you might prefer this data-rich interactive visualization of historic revenue and earnings.

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.