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How Should Investors React To WPX Energy, Inc.'s (NYSE:WPX) CEO Pay?

Simply Wall St

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Rick Muncrief has been the CEO of WPX Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WPX) since 1970. 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 method should give us information to assess how appropriately the company pays the CEO.

View our latest analysis for WPX Energy

How Does Rick Muncrief's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

According to our data, WPX Energy, Inc. has a market capitalization of US$4.6b, and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth US$11m. (This number is for the twelve months until December 2018). Notably, that's an increase of 25% over the year before. While this analysis focuses on total compensation, it's worth noting the salary is lower, valued at US$895k. As part of our analysis we looked at companies in the same jurisdiction, with market capitalizations of US$2.0b to US$6.4b. The median total CEO compensation was US$5.3m.

Thus we can conclude that Rick Muncrief receives more in total compensation than the median of a group of companies in the same market, and of similar size to WPX Energy, Inc.. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the pay is too high. We can better assess whether the pay is overly generous by looking into the underlying business performance.

You can see, below, how CEO compensation at WPX Energy has changed over time.

NYSE:WPX CEO Compensation, May 31st 2019

Is WPX Energy, Inc. Growing?

WPX Energy, Inc. has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 67% a year, over the last three years (using a line of best fit). It achieved revenue growth of 82% over the last year.

This demonstrates that the company has been improving recently. A good result. It's great to see that revenue growth is strong, too. These metrics suggest the business is growing strongly. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has WPX Energy, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

WPX Energy, Inc. has not done too badly by shareholders, with a total return of 7.6%, 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...

We compared total CEO remuneration at WPX Energy, Inc. with the amount paid at companies with a similar market capitalization. Our data suggests that it pays above the median CEO pay within that group.

However, the earnings per share growth over three years is certainly impressive. We also note that, over the same time frame, shareholder returns haven't been bad. So, considering the EPS growth we do not wish to criticize the level of CEO compensation, though we'd recommend further research on management. So you may want to check if insiders are buying WPX Energy shares with their own money (free access).

If you want to buy a stock that is better than WPX Energy, this free list of high return, low debt companies is a great place to look.

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.