U.S. Markets closed

Should You Worry About Heartland Express, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:HTLD) CEO Pay?

Simply Wall St

Mike Gerdin has been the CEO of Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) since 2011. 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.

View our latest analysis for Heartland Express

How Does Mike Gerdin's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that Heartland Express, Inc. is worth US$1.8b, and total annual CEO compensation is US$706k. (This figure is for the year to December 2018). It is worth noting that the CEO compensation consists almost entirely of the salary, worth US$706k. As part of our analysis we looked at companies in the same jurisdiction, with market capitalizations of US$1.0b to US$3.2b. The median total CEO compensation was US$4.1m.

Most shareholders would consider it a positive that Mike Gerdin takes less total compensation than the CEOs of most similar size companies, leaving more for shareholders. However, before we heap on the praise, we should delve deeper to understand business performance.

You can see, below, how CEO compensation at Heartland Express has changed over time.

NasdaqGS:HTLD CEO Compensation, September 16th 2019

Is Heartland Express, Inc. Growing?

On average over the last three years, Heartland Express, Inc. has grown earnings per share (EPS) by 15% each year (using a line of best fit). Its revenue is down -12% over last year.

Overall this is a positive result for shareholders, showing that the company has improved in recent years. Revenue growth is a real positive for growth, but ultimately profits are more important. It could be important to check this free visual depiction of what analysts expect for the future.

Has Heartland Express, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

Heartland Express, Inc. has served shareholders reasonably well, with a total return of 15% over three years. But they probably wouldn't be so happy as to think the CEO should be paid more than is normal, for companies around this size.

In Summary...

Heartland Express, Inc. is currently paying its CEO below what is normal for companies of its size. Since the business is growing, many would argue this suggests the pay is modest. While returns over the last few years haven't been top notch, there is nothing to suggest to us that Mike Gerdin is overcompensated.

Few would complain about reasonable CEO remuneration when the business is growing earnings per share. But it would be nice if insiders were also buying shares. If you think CEO compensation levels are interesting you will probably really like this free visualization of insider trading at Heartland Express.

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.