(Story updated with more bonus news)NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- While Americans continue to receive a mixed bag of economic news, pay changes at major companies likewise have also been erratic, with bonuses serving as a particularly telling read on the state of the economy. Read on for the bonus cuts and hikes that companies have made in 2011 ...
Carnival's ( CCL) chairman and CEO Micky Arison was awarded compensation worth about $7 million in fiscal 2010, 3% lower from the year before, the Associated Press said on Feb. 2.
Also, the leading cruise operator left Arison's base salary at $880,000, AP reported. His performance-based cash bonus rose to about $2.5 million, an improvement from $2.2 million a year ago, the report said. In addition, the CEO was given restricted stock awards worth $3.5 million the day they were granted. During the same time last year, he received $3.6 million of such awards. The report said the Arison was given $127,137 in all other compensations, consisting of $76,503 for the personal use of company aircraft, $22,581 in health insurance costs and premiums, $11,861 for an automobile lease or allowance, $6,286 for a chauffeur and security and $9,906 for other uses. The sum was actually much less than the $496,513 he was given a year ago for all other services, according to AP. The Associated Press noted that cruise operators like Carnival are beginning to see increased business momentum as vacationers become more confident about spending their money on such luxuries.
BlackRock ( BLK) CEO Laurence Fink was awarded a bonus worth almost $13 million in restricted stock, one of handsomest bonus awards revealed on Wall Street so far this year, according to the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 1.
According to WSJ, the $13 million consisted of two sets of restricted stock. They included 46,031 in restricted shares and 18,712 in three-year options, WSJ said. Based on a recent closing share prices, the awards were worth $12.8 million, the report said. The paper added that last year, BlackRock's CEO was awarded fewer bonus shares, but they were worth more during that period. This indicates that his total award has fallen from $13.1 million, WSJ noted.
HSBC ( HBC) bankers may be getting a share of a £1billion bonus pool in 2011, reported the United Kingdom daily The Sun on Feb. 1.
The Sun said HSBC's new chairman Douglas Flint revealed the scale of planned bonus payouts under pressure from parliament members. Furthermore, salaries for HSBC bankers were raised by £95 million last year, the report said. Flint revealed that some bankers saw their salaries double, according to The Sun. The report said the chairman rejected notions that raises were implemented as a way to circumvent the disputes on big bonuses at bank. The daily noted that HSBC has never accepted any government bailouts. However, the bank has benefited from government support of the financial sector, the report said.
Citigroup ( C) intends to reward half of its employee bonuses for 2010 in stock, Reuters reported on Feb. 1.
The report said up to 50% percent of 2010 employee bonuses could be paid in stock. Last year, Citigroup paid 40% of bonuses in stock, according to Reuters. Sources tell Reuters that the percentage of bonuses to be paid in stock will vary depending on employee. The report added that a company spokesperson wouldn't comment on the matter.
Top employees at Goldman Sachs ( GS) received a massive pay raise despite widespread criticism over the bank's practices and a drop in overall profits, the The Guardian reported on Jan. 30.
The UK paper said despite a 38% drop in profits at Goldman Sachs, head of British and European operations Michael Sherwood is receiving a stock award worth $14.4 million, up 60% from last year. The Guardian said Goldman Sachs did not say if Sherwood received a cash bonus. The report said Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein could be getting a pay raise that's even more shocking. The Guardian reported that Blankfein's base pay in 2011 is expected to increase by 233% to $2 million, from $600,000. Last year, the Blankfein received a stock award of almost $13 million, an increase from $9 million the year before, according to the report.
Royal Bank of Scotland's ( RBS) CEO won't be getting any of his £2.4 million bonus in cash under new government plans, according the Mirror.
The UK paper said Stephen Hester will get his bonus in shares instead. Furthermore, he wouldn't be able to cash in on the bonus until years later, according to the report. The new plan was devised by the government and RBS' board, the Mirror said. This, as heads of the Treasury held meetings with banks such as partially government-owned RBS, Lloyds ( LYG) and HSBC to help pacify public anger over bank bonuses. The paper noted that both Hester and Barclays' ( BCS) former CEO John Varley waived their annual bonuses last year.
Almost 100,000 employees at IBM ( IBM) India will each receive a $1,000 stock bonus before Jun. 16 as the company celebrates its one hundredth year in business, The Times of India reported on Jan. 31.
The Times of India notes the move may pressure other multinational and India tech firms to offer more incentives to their employees, as the world comes out of a recession. "Hundreds of thousands of IBMers, virtually all across the globe except those at the executive level will receive these stock bonuses," an IBM India spokesman told The Times of India.
Allied Irish Banks ( AIB) denied that it will soon pay 40 million euros in bonuses to its employees, The Irish Independent reported on Jan. 28.
This news comes even though Labour Party finance spokesperson Joan Burton had recently said the the bank was "committed" to paying these bonuses, the paper reported. AIB said in statement that it wasn't making "any such payments," reported The Irish Independent. The Irish Independent said more than 2,000 AIB staff were eligible for bonuses connected to work carried out in 2008, but haven't received them due to widespread controversy over the incentives. Some employees have been seeking legal action on the matter. The payout of these bonuses have been controversial given AIB's receipt of 3.7 billion euros in state aid during the banking crisis last year; Allied Irish Banks is now essentially a government-owned entity.
Bank of America ( BAC) plans to reward some of its investment bankers with more cash as part of their bonuses, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The report said that even the biggest money-makers at the bank received only about 5% of their bonuses in cash last year. But now, bankers and traders raking in more than $5 million are receiving 2010 compensation consisting of up to 30% cash and at least 70% deferred stock, WSJ reported on Jan. 28. Cash was much harder to come by for the bank last year due to federal pay restrictions corresponding with the $45 billion bailout it received from the government.
Boeing ( BA) announced on Jan. 26 that roughly 45,800 workers in Washington state would receive bonuses averaging $5,000 in February, The Daily Herald of Everett, Wash. reported.
The report said bonuses would vary according to each division's performance. Defense workers, for example, would receive bonuses equivalent to12 days of pay, while commercial airplane workers would receive bonuses equivalent to slightly more than 14 days of pay. The Daily Herald said employee bonuses consisted of an additional seven days of pay last year, or $115 million in total. Not everyone would get bonuses. For instance, Boeing workers who are members of the Machinists union weren't eligible for them, according to The Daily Herald. Still, almost 25,000 such workers did receive single payments of about $1,500 a worker in November under the union's contract with the aerospace giant, according to the report.
The Herald Scotland reported on Jan. 25 that Barclays ( BCS) may be getting rid of the typical bonus for its top 1,000 staff.
After drawing much criticism from British parliament members for refusing to give up big bonuses, he came forth and said that he may soon replace a bulk of senior staff bonuses with "cocos" or contingent convertible bonds, according to Herald Scotland. That is, rewards that would only kick in if the bank performed well. The report said this new measure would likely be announced when Barclays' discussed its annual results in mid-February.
On Jan. 21, The Wall Street Journal said Morgan Stanley's ( MS) CEO James Gorman could receiving a smaller award in 2011.
According to WSJ, Gorman may receive about $7.4 million in stock-based compensation for 2010, about 13% less than the $8.5 million stock compensation he earned for his performance in 2009. Back then, he was co-president of Morgan Stanley. Gorman had been voicing criticism against salaries paid to banking executives amid the ire Wall Street inspired with its big bonus payouts.
Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) employees won't be receiving full bonuses for 2010, in the wake of damage to the company's reputation and "mixed performance" during the year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 19.
WSJ reported that certain details of the announcement were delivered to employees via an email that said they would be paid 90% of the recommended bonus amount. The disappointing news was delivered to employees as J&J tried to repair its image following the massive recalls of over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol, and other products such as hip implants and contact lenses.
**JP Morgan Chase ( JPM) reserved nearly $10 billion for base salaries and bonuses at its investment banking division, the Guardian reported on Jan. 14. **
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