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Lowe's CEO gets 2012 pay package valued at $12.1M

Monday - 4/15/2013, 3:10pm  ET

MAE ANDERSON
AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- The CEO of Lowe's Cos. received a compensation package valued at $12.1 million, up 4 percent from the prior year.

Robert Niblock, 50, received a base salary of about $1.2 million, and the bulk of his pay package came from stock and option awards valued at $9 million on the date they were granted, according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He received a performance-based bonus of $1.7 million. He also received other compensation of $201,878 in retirement plan contributions, reimbursement of tax compliance costs, $63,339 for personal use of corporate aircraft, $2,841 for a physical, and a Lowe's logo ring valued at $2,622. The rings are given to managers to recognize positive job performance.

Home-improvement retailers such as Lowe's, which operates 1,754 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, suffered as consumers spent less on their homes due to the prolonged housing slump and uncertain economy. Signs that the housing market is improving have helped things somewhat. In addition, Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's has revamped its pricing structure, offering what it says are permanent low prices on many items across the store instead of fleeting discounts. It has also focused on hiring more workers and improving its inventory.

Lowe's said the changes have helped spur revenue in stores open at least a year to rise 1.4 percent in 2012, with expectations of a 3.5 percent rise in 2013. The measure is a key gauge of a retailer's financial performance because it excludes stores that open or close during the year. Its stock rose nearly 42 percent during the year.

For the fiscal year, net income rose 7 percent to $1.96 billion, or $1.69 per share, from $1.84 billion, or $1.43 per share. Revenue edged up to $50.52 billion from $50.21 billion last year.

The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest that the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The value that a company assigned to an executive's stock and option awards for 2012 was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth to the executive over time. Companies use one of several formulas to calculate that value. However, the number is just an estimate, and what an executive ultimately receives will depend on the performance of the company's stock in the years after the awards are granted. Most stock compensation programs require an executive to wait a specified amount of time to receive shares or exercise options.


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