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Is ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:ZIOP) CEO Paid At A Competitive Rate?

Willa Russo

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Laurence James Cooper has been the CEO of ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP) since 2015. 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. And finally – as a second measure of performance – we will look at the returns shareholders have received over the last few years. The aim of all this is to consider the appropriateness of CEO pay levels.

See our latest analysis for ZIOPHARM Oncology

How Does Laurence James Cooper’s Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

At the time of writing our data says that ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. has a market cap of US$416m, and is paying total annual CEO compensation of US$2.6m. (This figure is for the year to 2017). While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$500k. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations from US$200m to US$800m, and the median CEO compensation was US$1.5m.

As you can see, Laurence James Cooper is paid more than the median CEO pay at companies of a similar size, in the same market. However, this does not necessarily mean ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. is paying too much. A closer look at the performance of the underlying business will give us a better idea about whether the pay is particularly generous.

You can see, below, how CEO compensation at ZIOPHARM Oncology has changed over time.

NASDAQCM:ZIOP CEO Compensation February 13th 19

Is ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. Growing?

ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 24% a year, over the last three years (using a line of best fit). Its revenue is down -73% over last year.

This shows that the company has improved itself over the last few years. Good news for shareholders. The lack of revenue growth isn’t ideal, but it is the bottom line that counts most in business. Shareholders might be interested in this free visualization of analyst forecasts.

Has ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

With a three year total loss of 60%, ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. would certainly have some dissatisfied shareholders. So shareholders would probably think the company shouldn’t be too generous with CEO compensation.

In Summary…

We compared total CEO remuneration at ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. with the amount paid at companies with a similar market capitalization. We found that it pays well over the median amount paid in the benchmark group.

Importantly, though, the company has impressed with its earnings per share growth, over three years. However, the returns to investors are far less impressive, over the same period. Considering the per share profit growth, but keeping in mind the weak returns, we’d need more time to form a view on CEO compensation. CEO compensation is one thing, but it is also interesting to check if the CEO is buying or selling ZIOPHARM Oncology (free visualization of insider trades).

Important note: ZIOPHARM Oncology 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.

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.