Beazer board proposes 67 percent CEO raise after $145.3 million loss
Compensation for the chief executive officer of Beazer Homes USA Inc., an Atlanta-based builder that lost $145.3 million in the last fiscal year, would rise 67 percent under a proposal by the company's board.
Allan Merrill, 46, Beazer'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 2011, his first year as CEO, when the company reported a $204.9 million loss. Beazer has reported 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 Wednesday.
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.
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 was named CEO in 2011, succeeding 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.