Flatline=fat bonus?

January 25, 2005

Looking at the five-year stock chart for ADC Telecommunications (ADCT) is pretty sobering — a big pop in 2000 and then essentially a flat line. In 2002 and 2003, executives seemed to take those results to heart. But that changed last year, when despite mediocre performance for shareholders, executives decided that two years without bonuses was too much to ask for. CEO Robert Switz collected a $723,00 bonus — or about 125% of his base salary in 2004, according to the recent proxy. Other executives collected bonuses that were lower than their base compensation, but all told bonuses last year for top executives were over $2 million. Yet using ADC’s own numbers in the proxy, the stock fell about 14% during the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2004 compared with a 9.4% increase for the S&P 500 and a nearly 9% increase for the S&P Communications Equipment Index during the same period.

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