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Should You Worry About Torchmark Corporation's (NYSE:TMK) CEO Salary Level?

Simply Wall St

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In 2012 Gary Coleman was appointed CEO of Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK). This report will, first, examine the CEO compensation levels in comparison to CEO compensation at other big companies. Next, we'll consider growth that the business demonstrates. 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 Torchmark

How Does Gary Coleman's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

At the time of writing our data says that Torchmark Corporation has a market cap of US$9.6b, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$7.8m. (This number is for the twelve months until December 2018). That's actually a decrease on the year before. While this analysis focuses on total compensation, it's worth noting the salary is lower, valued at US$920k. When we examined a group of companies with market caps over US$8.0b, we found that their 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).

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

The graphic below shows how CEO compensation at Torchmark has changed from year to year.

NYSE:TMK CEO Compensation, June 27th 2019

Is Torchmark Corporation Growing?

Torchmark Corporation has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 33% a year, over the last three years (using a line of best fit). In the last year, its revenue is up 3.6%.

This demonstrates that the company has been improving recently. A good result. It's nice to see a little revenue growth, as this is consistent with healthy business conditions. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has Torchmark Corporation Been A Good Investment?

Boasting a total shareholder return of 49% over three years, Torchmark Corporation has done well by shareholders. So they may not be at all concerned if the CEO were to be paid more than is normal for companies around the same size.

In Summary...

Torchmark Corporation is currently paying its CEO below what is normal for large companies. Many would consider this to indicate that the pay is modest since the business is growing. The pleasing shareholder returns are the cherry on top; you might even consider that Gary Coleman deserves a raise!

Most shareholders like to see a modestly paid CEO combined with strong performance by the company. It would be even more positive if company insiders are buying shares. CEO compensation is one thing, but it is also interesting to check if the CEO is buying or selling Torchmark (free visualization of insider trades).

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.