D.R. Horton CEO got $6.4M fiscal 2009 pay package

AP News
Posted: Dec 08, 2009 5:16 PM

Homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. gave CEO Donald Tomnitz compensation valued at about $6.4 million in fiscal 2009, a 6 percent increase from the prior fiscal year, according to Associated Press calculations of figures disclosed in a regulatory filing.

The bump in compensation came as the homebuilder managed to cut costs and stem its losses as the housing recovery began this year. D.R. Horton benefited from still-low mortgage interest rates and a federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers, which make up the bulk of the builder's customers.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based company left Tomnitz's salary unchanged from fiscal 2008 at $300,000, according to a proxy statement filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But the executive received a performance-based cash bonus of about $2.3 million. That was up more than 26 percent from the bonus he received in the prior-year period.

More than half of Tomnitz's compensation came via stock and option awards valued by the company at about $3.7 million when granted _ a 2 percent drop in the equity awards the executive received for fiscal 2008.

Tomnitz also received $37,342 in returns the company locked itself into paying on compensation the executive had set aside.

His perks came to $39,450, a 1.2 percent increase from fiscal 2008. Most of it was for contributions to Tomnitz's retirement plans, including his 401(k). The builder also paid $2,100 to cover the executive's group health plan premiums.

Tomnitz, 61, also holds the titles of vice chairman and president. He's been CEO since 1998.

The Associated Press compensation 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.

D.R. Horton has operations in 27 states and was ranked the No 1. homebuilder in the U.S. last year by Builder magazine, but is now No. 2 after the merger of Pulte and Centex.

For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, D.R. Horton lost $545.3 million, or $1.72 a share. That compares with a loss of $2.6 billion, or $8.34 a share, in fiscal 2008. Homebuilding revenue for fiscal 2009 fell 44 percent to $3.6 billion.

The builder hasn't reported a quarterly profit since 2007.

Last month, Tomnitz cautioned that foreclosures, high levels of unsold homes and rising unemployment remain a challenge. But he predicted better completed sales in fiscal 2010.

D.R. Horton shares lost roughly 14 percent over the course of fiscal 2009. Shares slipped 20 cents to $9.90 on Monday.

The company will hold its annual meeting of shareholders Jan. 28 in Fort Worth.


On the Net:

D.R. Horton: http://www.drhorton.com/corp/