America’s Car-Mart execs earn raises, new deferred compensation via options in 2016

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 748 views 

Despite a financially challenging fiscal 2016, America’s Car-Mart executives Hank Henderson and Jeff Williams managed to boost their pay with salary bumps and cost-of-living increases.

Henderson, the CEO, and Williams, president and chief financial officer, each added an additional $464,520 in deferred annual compensation related to stock option awards granted in fiscal 2016, which ended for the used car dealer on April 30. The executive salary information was made public Friday (July 22) in the company’s Proxy filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

Henderson earned a base salary of $466,400, a 3.3% increase from the $451,169 he earned in the prior year. Henderson opted to defer $324,686 of his 2016 salary under the company’s non-qualified compensation plan. His total 2016 earnings were $965,931 thanks to stock option grants valued at $464,520 and $35,011 in other perks such as use of automobile, club dues, health insurance reimbursements and a modest $1,030 Christmas bonus.

Williams saw a bigger pay raise in 2016 as he assumed the role of president during the year in addition to his other financial duties. Williams’ base salary increased 9% to $367,290 in 2016. After his stock option awards and $30,805 perks his total pay topped out at $862,615. William also received a modest Christmas bonus of $600.

The buy here, pay here used car dealer managed to increase its 2016 revenues by 7.1% to $568 million in fiscal 2016, in spite of competitive pressures across the industry. Car-Mart was forced to slow its aggressive growth strategy and opened only six new dealerships in 2016 and closing a few nonperforming lots. That said, Car-Mart’s accounts receivable base grew by $19.9 million in the year and the the company also repurchased $14.2 million of the company’s common stock.

Executives noted in the Proxy that the accomplishments were significant given competitive pressures resulting from increases in the level of financing available to the sub-prime auto industry, as well as the significant credit loss activity the company experienced during fiscal year 2016.

America’s Car-Mart will hold its annual shareholder meeting at 10 a.m., Aug. 31 at the company’s corporate offices in Bentonville. At that time shareholders will elect a slate of seven directors to a new one-year term. All directors up for election are already serving as directors. The following directors are on the election slate.
• Daniel Englander, 47, partner in Ursa Capital Partners
• Kenny Gunderman, 45, CEO of Sales & Leasing, former investment banker at Stephens Inc.
• Hank Henderson, 53, CEO of America’s Car-Mart
• Eddie Hight, 53, former chief operating office at America’s Car-Mart
• Cameron Smith, 65, founder and president of Cameron Smith & Associates
• Jim von Gremp, 66, real estate investor and former Wal-Mart executive
• Jeff Williams, 53, president and chief financial officer for America’s Car-Mart

America’s Car-Mart pays its directors an annual retainer fee of $40,000 with a $10,000 stipend for the chairman of the audit committee. Each director also received stock option awards valued at $87,690.

There were no company transactions with related parties to company executives or board members during 2016, according to the filing.

America’s Car-Mart shares (NASDAQ: CRMT) has regained steam over the past two months rebounding back above the $32 per share trading range. On Friday shares were trading at $32.05, down 22 cents from the prior day. Over the past 52-weeks the share price has ranged from a low of $19.49 to a high of $48.10. Since the beginning of 2016 Car-Mart shares have rebounded 20% of the lows from the back of 2015.