Average compensation for CEOs of the major public coal companies was roughly flat in 2012 at nearly $3.9 million, according to an SNL Energy analysis of proxy and annual report data filed by 12 coal producers and coal-landholding companies. Median pay rose 20 percent to $2.3 million from approximately $1.9 million in 2011.
Share price values for the 12 analyzed companies dropped an average 30 percent during 2012 as global coal markets continued to weaken, new environmental regulations affected coal-burning power plants and the price of substitute fuel natural gas nose-dived.
Stock price appreciation is among the factors companies typically link to executive compensation. Coal companies also typically consider the company's safety record during the year and personal performance of a given executive in setting pay targets.
Among the 12 companies studied, half compensated their CEOs more in 2012 than in 2011. Hallador Energy Co. CEO Victor Stabio received the largest increase in compensation as the company bought out his stock options in 2012 for more than $1.4 million in cash.