In 2017 Andrew Anagnost was appointed CEO of Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK). First, this article will compare CEO compensation with compensation at other large companies. Next, we'll consider growth that the business demonstrates. Third, we'll reflect on the total return to shareholders over three years, as a second measure of business performance. The aim of all this is to consider the appropriateness of CEO pay levels.
How Does Andrew Anagnost's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?
Our data indicates that Autodesk, Inc. is worth US$41b, and total annual CEO compensation was reported as US$9.0m for the year to January 2019. While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$820k. We note that more than half of the total compensation is not the salary; and performance requirements may apply to this non-salary portion. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations over US$8.0b and the median CEO total compensation was US$11m. (We took a wide range because the CEOs of massive companies tend to be paid similar amounts - even though some are quite a bit bigger than others).
That means Andrew Anagnost receives fairly typical remuneration for the CEO of a large company. This doesn't tell us a whole lot on its own, but looking at the performance of the actual business will give us useful context.
You can see a visual representation of the CEO compensation at Autodesk, below.
Is Autodesk, Inc. Growing?
Over the last three years Autodesk, Inc. has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 64% per year (using a line of best fit). It achieved revenue growth of 30% over the last year.
Overall this is a positive result for shareholders, showing that the company has improved in recent years. The combination of strong revenue growth with medium-term earnings per share improvement certainly points to the kind of growth I like to see. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.
Has Autodesk, Inc. Been A Good Investment?
Boasting a total shareholder return of 133% over three years, Autodesk, Inc. has done well by shareholders. 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.
Andrew Anagnost is paid around what is normal the leaders of larger companies.
Few would be critical of the leadership, since returns have been juicy and earnings per share are moving in the right direction. Although the pay is a normal amount, some shareholders probably consider it fair or modest, given the good performance of the stock. Whatever your view on compensation, you might want to check if insiders are buying or selling Autodesk shares (free trial).
Important note: Autodesk may not be the best stock to buy. You might find something better in this list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.
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