CEOs pay with major public coal companies increased to $4.3 million in 2013, according to report

Fred Pace

May 14, 2014

Average compensation for CEOs of the major public coal companies increased to $4.3 million in 2013, according to an SNL Energy analysis of proxy and annual report data filed by 11 coal producers and coal-landholding companies, up from less than $4.2 million among the same companies in 2012.

Seven of the 11 CEOs received a double-digit percentage increase in option adjusted compensation in 2013 compared to 2012 in another challenging year for coal markets. James River Coal Co., which filed for bankruptcy protection April 7, did not file a proxy statement and was not included in the analysis.

CONSOL Energy Inc. Chairman and CEO J. Brett Harvey remained the highest-paid coal company executive in 2013, receiving much of his compensation in the form of restricted stock awards. On March 21, CONSOL announced that President Nicholas DeIuliis would succeed Harvey as CEO after the company’s annual meeting of shareholders May 7.

Harvey reflected on his tenure April 29 during CONSOL’s first-quarter earnings call, which followed an earnings report that soundly beat Wall Street’s expectations. CONSOL, celebrating its 150th anniversary, reported a net income of $116 million in the quarter. CONSOL’s stock price increased 18.5% from year-end 2012 to year-end 2013, one of just three of coal companies in the analysis to boast an increase, joining Alliance Resource Partners LP and Natural Resource Partners LP. CONSOL’s net income grew 69.8% over the same time period. The year saw CONSOL divest five active thermal coal mines in a landmark deal with Murray Energy Corp. to focus on the growth of its gas division.

Stock price appreciation is among the factors companies typically link to executive compensation. Coal companies also typically consider the company’s adjusted EBITDA, safety record during the year and personal performance of a given executive in setting pay targets.

“In April 1999, we went public and our size, in terms of market cap, is about 10 times what it was then,” Harvey said. “That’s good news for our shareholders, especially those who have been with us for a long time, and it’s good news going forward because these assets are timeless in terms of demand for energy, and they’re red, white and blue energy as well.

“I’ve been the CEO since that point in time. Now, it’s time for a change. We have a very strong management team and we’re ready to move forward for the next 150 years.”

Keep reading the full report and analysis here: