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Incentive pay sliced for three PNM execs

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Cash incentives for three of PNM Resources’ top five executives fell markedly last year because they failed to meet some performance goals, according to the company’s 2012 proxy filed with federal regulators Thursday.

Chairman, President and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn received a total of $1.15 million in total cash earnings last year, down from $1.57 million in 2011. Her base salary actually rose, from $575,000 to $629,808, but her performance-based incentive pay fell from $875,075 in 2011 to $519,225 last year.

Similarly, base salaries increased slightly for Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Charles Eldred, and for Senior Vice President and General Counsel Patrick Apodaca, but their incentive payments dropped.

Eldred earned $635,615 in total cash payments in 2012, which included $414,615 in base salary and $221,000 in incentive pay. That’s down from $886,240 in 2011, when he received a $400,000 salary and $486,240 in cash incentives.

Apodaca earned $429,761 in cash last year, which included $289,231 in base salary and $140,530 in cash incentives. That compares to $578,677 in 2012, when he received a $260,000 salary and $318,677 in incentive pay.

PNM Resources’ other two top executives, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ronald Talbot and Senior Vice President for Public Policy Ronald Darnell, were both new to their posts last year.

Talbot earned a $323,077 salary and $259,935 in cash incentives. Darnell received $237,323 in salary and $88,489 in incentive pay.

The drop in executive cash incentives in 2012 reflected the management team’s failure to achieve two performance goals regarding workplace safety and customer service satisfaction, said spokeswoman Valerie Smith.

On worker safety, reportable injuries declined last year compared to 2011, but the company had set a completely injury-free record as the goal.

“It was an aggressive goal, and unfortunately, last year too many of our employees went home injured,” Smith said.

As for customer service satisfaction, the company didn’t see enough improvement in how well people feel their needs are being met when calling customer service, getting information from the corporate website or being able to conduct business electronically, Smith said.

On the other hand, the executive team did meet a financial goal of increasing shareholder earnings. PNM Resources’ net earnings declined by about $71 million in 2012 because of a one-time gain of $97 million in 2011 from sale of the company’s unregulated utilities in Texas. But ongoing earnings – which exclude one-time gains and charges – increased by $9 million in 2012. That raised ongoing earnings per share from $1.08 to $1.31.

Apart from salaries and cash incentives, the company’s top executives earned significant stock awards last year. Vincent-Collawn, for example, earned the equivalent of about $2.432 million in common shares, but most of that is paid in staggered amounts over many years, and is tied to achievement of performance goals.
— This article appeared on page B01 of the Albuquerque Journal

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