Standard and Poors (S&P) 500 Index showing CEO’s massive paychecks always gets a lot of attention, usually for the huge pay checks received by company directors.
However two CEOs in the S&P 500, Steven Kean of energy firm Kinder Morgan and Jack Dorsey of communication services firm Twitter, not only made less than the median salary of employees at their firms in 2020 they actually were only paid $1.
The median Twitter employee earns $205,198 a year and the median pay to Kinder Morgan employees is $117,413 according to Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith.
Don’t feel too bad for Kean and Dorsey though as they are both major shareholders in their respective companies.
Steven Kean, 58, Kinder Morgans CEO owns 7.2 million shares of the energy pipeline company. And those shares pay off in other ways such as dividends. With Kinder Morgan paying a quarterly dividend of 26 cents per share last year. That’s more than $7.4 million a year for Kean, in just dividends!
Jack Dorsey,43, is the single largest individual holder of Twitter stock. Owning more than 18 million shares of Twitter, or 2.3% of the outstanding shares. Meaning the paper profit on just those shares since the start of 2020 is $226.8 million.
Don’t assume, though, such selfless pay practices at S&P 500 companies sway investors. Twitter, yes, is a huge winner. Shares of the short messaging service are up 108% since the start of 2020. That tops the S&P 500’s gain of 29.6% in that time. But Kinder Morgan’s shares are down more than 20% from 2020.
It’s important to note, though, this year both companies’ stocks are topping the S&P 500. Twitter stock is up 23.2% and Kinder Morgan has risen 23.7% in 2021 so far, while the S&P 500 gained 11.5%.
For the rest of the S&P 500 companies the 2020 salaries for their top executives is jaw dropping.
More than 420 companies in the S&P 500 reported on average the CEO paypackages were $14.5 million. These are huge wages still being paid despite many of the companies struggling in 2020. Due to Coronavirus the number of layoffs and furloughs spiked as business’ changed to cope with the economic downturn.
Profit at S&P 500 companies plunged more than 13% in 2020, says FactSet. However investors don’t seem to be worried about the CEO pay packets.
This could be due to the fact that in 2021 S&P 500 companies’ profits are seen to be jumping a record breaking 28%. If these analysts are right, S&P 500 companies’ profit will surpass 2019’s by more than 10%, FactSet says.
The high paychecks received by CEO’s could get affected in the future as Americas President Joe Biden is looking at increasing capital gains taxes on people who make more than a million a year. For the S&P 500 CEOs this could spell trouble as of the 420 S&P 500 companies reporting in 2020 only five were paid less than a million dollars.
Source: Investors Business Daily