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Compaq CEO gets less stock in '98

Eckhard Pfeiffer received an 18.3 percent raise last year, but his compensation was much less than the 1997 package.

Compaq chief executive Eckhard Pfeiffer received an 18.3 percent salary raise in 1998, but his overall compensation package paled in comparison to what he was given the year before.

Pfeiffer, whose total package came to $23.3 million, received a base salary of $1.5 million and a $3 million bonus, slightly less than the $3.25 million he received the previous year. Compaq's board granted Pfeiffer 875,000 stock options at an estimated value of $17.2 million, based on a 5 percent appreciation, with an exercise price of $31.25 a share.

By contrast, Pfeiffer received $70.1 million the previous year in a package that was also largely composed of options. In 1997, Pfeiffer received 1.75 million options totaling $64.1 million.

Last year's compensation was reduced despite the computer giant's 26.8 percent increase in revenues to $31.2 billion. Compaq also posted a $2.7 billion net loss during the year because of its Digital Equipment acquisition and some plant closures, compared with a profit of $1.85 billion the previous year.

Although Compaq's fourth quarter was stronger than Wall Street had expected, some analysts attributed its performance to accounting changes. The PC maker had reversed some earlier charges and received tax breaks that improved its earnings outlook, analysts said.

The company's stock rose roughly 40 percent during the year to close at 42.0625. But shares have since fallen, closing at 34.3750 yesterday.