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This Is The Reason Why We Think Saia, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:SAIA) CEO Might Be Underpaid

Key Insights

  • Saia will host its Annual General Meeting on 25th of April

  • Salary of US$910.0k is part of CEO Fritz Holzgrefe's total remuneration

  • The total compensation is 31% less than the average for the industry

  • Over the past three years, Saia's EPS grew by 36% and over the past three years, the total shareholder return was 118%

The solid performance at Saia, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAIA) has been impressive and shareholders will probably be pleased to know that CEO Fritz Holzgrefe has delivered. This would be kept in mind at the upcoming AGM on 25th of April which will be a chance for them to hear the board review the financial results, discuss future company strategy and vote on resolutions such as executive remuneration and other matters. We think the CEO has done a pretty decent job and probably deserves a well-earned pay rise.

View our latest analysis for Saia

Comparing Saia, Inc.'s CEO Compensation With The Industry

At the time of writing, our data shows that Saia, Inc. has a market capitalization of US$14b, and reported total annual CEO compensation of US$5.7m for the year to December 2023. We note that's an increase of 27% above last year. We think total compensation is more important but our data shows that the CEO salary is lower, at US$910k.


On comparing similar companies in the American Transportation industry with market capitalizations above US$8.0b, we found that the median total CEO compensation was US$8.3m. In other words, Saia pays its CEO lower than the industry median. What's more, Fritz Holzgrefe holds US$6.5m worth of shares in the company in their own name, indicating that they have a lot of skin in the game.




Proportion (2023)









Total Compensation




Talking in terms of the industry, salary represented approximately 16% of total compensation out of all the companies we analyzed, while other remuneration made up 84% of the pie. There isn't a significant difference between Saia and the broader market, in terms of salary allocation in the overall compensation package. If non-salary compensation dominates total pay, it's an indicator that the executive's salary is tied to company performance.


A Look at Saia, Inc.'s Growth Numbers

Saia, Inc.'s earnings per share (EPS) grew 36% per year over the last three years. Its revenue is up 3.2% over the last year.

This demonstrates that the company has been improving recently and is good news for the shareholders. It's also good to see modest revenue growth, suggesting the underlying business is healthy. Historical performance can sometimes be a good indicator on what's coming up next but if you want to peer into the company's future you might be interested in this free visualization of analyst forecasts.

Has Saia, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

Most shareholders would probably be pleased with Saia, Inc. for providing a total return of 118% over three years. So they may not be at all concerned if the CEO were to be paid more than is normal for companies around the same size.

To Conclude...

Given the company's decent performance, the CEO remuneration policy might not be shareholders' central point of focus in the AGM. Instead, investors might be more interested in discussions that would help manage their longer-term growth expectations such as company business strategies and future growth potential.

CEO compensation can have a massive impact on performance, but it's just one element. We've identified 1 warning sign for Saia that investors should be aware of in a dynamic business environment.

Important note: Saia is an exciting stock, but we understand investors may be looking for an unencumbered balance sheet and blockbuster returns. You might find something better in this list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at)

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.