- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The chairman, president and chief executive of fertilizer maker CF Industries Inc. received compensation valued at $5.6 million in 2008, a 32 percent increase from 2007, according to an Associated Press calculation of figures disclosed Monday in a regulatory filing.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based company paid Stephen R. Wilson a $900,000 base salary in 2008, a 15.4 percent increase from 2007, and awarded a performance-based bonus of $1.8 million.

Wilson, 60, also received stock and option awards valued at about $2.8 million on the days they were granted. However, the exercise price on the awards is nearly double the stock’s current price, making them of little value absent a major jump in share value.

Additionally, CF Industries paid Wilson $110,618 in other compensation, including $81,000 in retirement benefits, $2,318 in life insurance premiums and $27,754 in dividends on restricted stock.

Wilson’s total pay package in 2007 was valued at $4.2 million, when he received stock and option awards valued at about $2 million, according to a calculation by The Associated Press.

The Associated Press formula is designed to isolate the value the company’s board placed on the executive’s total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which reflect the size of the accounting charge taken for the executive’s compensation in the previous fiscal year.

CF Industries in 2008 saw its annual profit climb 84 percent to $684.6 million, or $12.15 per share, compared to $372.7 million, or $6.57 per share, in 2007.

The company’s shares started 2008 at $111.50, but plunged amid the market meltdown last fall to end the year down 56 percent at $49.16. In recent week, CF shares have regained some of their losses, closing Tuesday at $69.17.

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