Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



1 More Reason to Hate Rite-Aid?

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Seriously, what ... the ... stupid?!

What I need everyone to do right now is take everything they've learned about CEO compensation up until this moment in time, because we're going to throw it right out of the window and examine Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD  ) CEO John Standley's recent pay raise.

First, it should be noted that CEO pay and performance do not always line up perfectly -- or even appear to be from the same planet. Gregg Engles, CEO of Dean Foods (NYSE: DF  ) , has received an average of $20.4 million annually in compensation over the past six years while Dean Foods' stock has fallen by an average of 11% per year. That's good enough for dead last in Forbes' pay-for-performance CEO rankings.

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK  ) CEO Aubrey McClendon is another fresh example that comes to mind. McClendon received $75 million in company well interests in 2008 to help cover the costs of a $552 million margin call.

However, the pay raise that Standley and some of his coworkers recently were awarded may be the dumbest yet (or at least rival that of having Chesapeake's board buy $12.1 million worth of antique maps from McClendon).

In a recent filing (page 59 for those curious) with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Rite Aid noted that Standley received a salary and stock-compensation pay boost of roughly 292% in fiscal 2011 to nearly $11 million from $2.8 million in the previous year. Not to be left out, Rite Aid's chief financial officer, Frank Vitrano, garnered an 87% boost in compensation to nearly $5.2 million. The reason Rite Aid's board of directors granted the raise was that the company had met pre-set EBITDA goals from the previous year.

That's it.

The Rite Aid board of directors divvied out millions of dollars in extra pay to its CEO and CFO not because Rite Aid was profitable (because it isn't), not because it increased cash flow, reduced expenses, regained market share, paid down debt, or increased its workforce; it gave them a raise because the company simply hit its EBITDA target.

Don't get me wrong. EBITDA growth is necessary to grow a business. But so are bottom-line profits. Rite Aid hasn't turned an annual profit since 2006, before its purchase of Eckerd. Worse yet, the company has $6.2 billion in net debt sitting on its balance sheet with very minimal cash flow (just $16 million in fiscal 2011). The icing on the cake is that Rite Aid has been losing customers hand-over-fist to Walgreen (NYSE: WAG  ) and CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS  ) . Both companies have taken advantage of Rite Aid's weakness to expand their market share and aggressively out-advertise the ailing drugstore.

But wait; it gets even better.

Not only did management get a big, fat raise for basically sitting on its laurels, but the board of directors also elected Standley to be its new chairman! This is the first time the CEO and chairman roles have been combined since Mary Sammons was CEO. As a reminder, Sammons was the same CEO who spearheaded the buyout of Eckerd -- a buyout that has seemingly crippled the company under a mountain of debt. Yeah, I'm sure combining those two positions will work out fantastically.

One of my favorite comedians, Ron White, is known for the tagline "You can't fix stupid!" I wholeheartedly agree, but I wish the Rite Aid board could at least be a little less obvious about it.

Questions? Comments? Free drinks? Send them my way!

Clearly, Rite Aid has a mountain of problems that a few paragraphs won't even begin to explain. Luckily for you our, our team of analysts at Stock Advisor has identified a different consumer-goods company that's growing like a weed in Latin America and that they'd be happy to share with you for free. Get your copy of our latest special report.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Chesapeake Energy and Dean Foods. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chesapeake Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (9)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2015, at 7:54 PM, Frip wrote:

    When are you going to apologize for this silly article?

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1898909, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/24/2016 5:59:36 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,223.03 77.32 0.43%
S&P 500 2,151.33 10.17 0.47%
NASD 5,309.83 52.43 1.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/24/2016 4:01 PM
RAD $7.03 Down -0.01 -0.14%
Rite Aid CAPS Rating: ****
CHK $6.36 Down -0.32 -4.79%
Chesapeake Energy CAPS Rating: ***
CVS $88.00 Up +0.59 +0.67%
CVS Health CAPS Rating: ****
DF $16.73 Up +0.12 +0.72%
Dean Foods CAPS Rating: **
WBA $83.11 Up +1.54 +1.89%
Walgreens Boots Al… CAPS Rating: ****