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Should You Worry About California Water Service Group's (NYSE:CWT) CEO Pay?

Simply Wall St

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Marty Kropelnicki became the CEO of California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT) in 2013. First, this article will compare CEO compensation with compensation at similar sized companies. 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. The aim of all this is to consider the appropriateness of CEO pay levels.

See our latest analysis for California Water Service Group

How Does Marty Kropelnicki's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that California Water Service Group is worth US$2.4b, and total annual CEO compensation is US$5.9m. (This figure is for the year to December 2018). That's actually a decrease on the year before. While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$947k. 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$4.2m.

Thus we can conclude that Marty Kropelnicki receives more in total compensation than the median of a group of companies in the same market, and of similar size to California Water Service Group. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the pay is too high. We can get a better idea of how generous the pay is by looking at the performance of the underlying business.

The graphic below shows how CEO compensation at California Water Service Group has changed from year to year.

NYSE:CWT CEO Compensation, June 3rd 2019

Is California Water Service Group Growing?

On average over the last three years, California Water Service Group has grown earnings per share (EPS) by 15% each year (using a line of best fit). The trailing twelve months of revenue was pretty much the same as the prior period.

Overall this is a positive result for shareholders, showing that the company has improved in recent years. It's good to see a bit of revenue growth, as this suggests the business is able to grow sustainably. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has California Water Service Group Been A Good Investment?

Boasting a total shareholder return of 74% over three years, California Water Service Group has done well by shareholders. As a result, some may believe the CEO should be paid more than is normal for companies of similar size.

In Summary...

We compared the total CEO remuneration paid by California Water Service Group, and compared it to remuneration at a group of similar sized companies. Our data suggests that it pays above the median CEO pay within that group.

Importantly, though, the company has impressed with its earnings per share growth, over three years. Even better, returns to shareholders have been plentiful, over the same time period. So, considering this good performance, the CEO compensation may be quite appropriate. Shareholders may want to check for free if California Water Service Group insiders are buying or selling shares.

Arguably, business quality is much more important than CEO compensation levels. So check out this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt.

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.