We collected results for 278 more companies this week, bringing our total to 818 for the season. We continue to see high support, with 94% of companies passing with over 70% shareholder approval (this is slightly higher than in 2011 and 2012). Year-over-year, we observe that fewer companies are failing Say on Pay (to date, ten companies this year, or 1.2% of the sample; 2.6% of the sample failed in 2012) and receiving ISS 'against' recommendations (to date, 11% of companies; this compares with 14% of companies in 2012). Four new companies failed this week: AXIS Capital Holdings, Comstock Resources, Golden Star Resources, and Stillwater Mining.
In our “Vote of the Week,” we discuss Comstock Resources, which received 33% vote support in 2013 after receiving a 35% vote in 2012. Sustained low support may be due to concerns over annual cash bonuses that are determined by 50% financial performance and 50% discretion (we note that the discretionary piece of the annual cash bonus was paid above target, while the formulaic component was paid below target), benchmarking of CEO pay above median against a peer group of larger companies, and above-median CEO pay despite negative TSR on a one-, three-, and five-year basis.