Despite skyrocketing sales, Ruger execs’ pay drops 30%

The top five executives at Sturm, Ruger & Co. earned a combined $8.6 million in 2012 — nearly a 30 percent pay cut, despite a year of explosive growth, according to recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It was quite a drop from the $12.2 million the executives earned in 2011, though still way above the $3.7 million earned in 2010.

Only CEO Michael Fifer’s pay remained steady last year, according to a March 20 Securities and Exchange filing by the company. His $4.57 million compensation was about $50,000 more than last year. His base salary of $500,000 is only a small part of the compensation. Fifer also received a $1.2 million cash bonus, $124,000 in profit sharing and about $2.7 million in stock awards.

Chief Financial Officer Thomas Dineen earned $927,000, compared to $1.6 million the previous year. Christopher Killoy, vice president of sales and marketing made $1.1 million, as opposed to $2.7 million Mark Lang, group vice president, made about $1.1 million, compared to $1.7 million and the compensation package of Thomas Sullivan, vice president of Newport operations, was $914,000, down from $1.6 million.

The six non-executive board members paid themselves a total of $1.1 million, with compensation ranging from $236,000 to $151,000. That was up from 2011, but only by $100,000.

The Sturm Ruger pay picture came as sales and profits – fueled by fears of gun control after a series of mass shootings and the reelection of President Barack Obama — continue to skyrocket, according to the company’s annual filing with the SEC at the end of February.

Revenue was $492 million in 2012, up nearly 50 percent. Net income was $70.6 million ($3.69 a share), an increase of more than 75 percent. The company now has nearly $427 million of orders on backlog — more than four times the backlog of 2011 — and it employs about 1,440 workers in Newport, as well as Phoenix, Ariz., and at its Southport, Conn., corporate headquarters. That’s 200 more than last year. The larger workforce and expenditures of about $27 million, increased production by some 52 percent.

The growth has been relatively steady over the last year. The company sold almost three times as many guns and castings as five years ago, and made more than eight times the amount of profit than it did in 2008. – BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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