Beazer Proposes CEO Pay Raise to $2.94 Million
(Corrects story published Dec. 5 to show the executives held office for three months in the 2011 fiscal year.)
Compensation for the chief executive officer of Beazer Homes USA Inc. (BZH) would rise 67 percent under a proposal by the company’s board.
Allan Merrill, 46, the Atlanta-based homebuilder’s president and CEO, would receive pay of $2.94 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, according to a proxy statement filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s up from total compensation of $1.76 million in fiscal 2011, when he was in the CEO position for about three and a half months. The company reported a $145.3 million loss for fiscal 2012, compared with $204.9 million a year earlier. It has had losses each year since 2007, totaling $2.08 billion.
“During fiscal year 2012, the company delivered significantly improved operating results, meeting or exceeding virtually all of the operational goals it set out to achieve at the beginning of the year,” according to a discussion of executive compensation included in the filing.
Homebuilders are recovering from a six-year slump amid record low interest rates, rising consumer confidence and a shrinking pool of existing homes listed for sale. Beazer’s orders increased 25 percent to 4,901 homes in fiscal 2012, sales rose 36 percent to 4,428 houses and homebuilding revenue climbed 40 percent to $996.1 million, the company said Nov. 12.
U.S. construction spending in October increased 1.4 percent from the previous month to $872.1 billion, and spending on new- home construction rose 3 percent to $294.2 billion, its highest level since November 2008, the Commerce Department reported this week. U.S. home prices jumped 6.3 percent in October from a year earlier, the biggest increase since June 2006, data provider CoreLogic Inc. said yesterday.
Beazer’s board proposed raising the compensation for Chief Financial Officer Robert Salomon 95 percent to $1.32 million, and 26 percent to $1.32 million for Kenneth Khoury, the company’s general counsel and chief administrative officer. Salomon took office when Merrill became CEO in June 2011, while Khoury assumed the added role of chief administrative officer.
Carey Phelps, a Beazer spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message and e-mail seeking comment.
Beazer shareholders get to participate in a non-binding “Say on Pay” vote when the company holds its annual meeting in Atlanta on Feb. 1. The last compensation package won 95 percent of the vote after a majority of shareholders voted against a proposal in 2011, according to the filing.
Merrill succeeded Ian McCarthy, who was replaced after an accounting scandal spurred an SEC investigation that led McCarthy to return $6.5 million in compensation. Merrill joined Beazer in 2007 as CFO.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at email@example.com