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Wall Street Is the Target, But Others Profit More

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, entering their 25th day Tuesday, are drawing attention, in part, to profits in the financial sector and whether or not they are excessive.

People scream at the New York police officers after an arrest was made on Broadway in front of Zuccotti Park, where demonstrators protesting against the financial system are gathering on September 19, 2011 in New York City.
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People scream at the New York police officers after an arrest was made on Broadway in front of Zuccotti Park, where demonstrators protesting against the financial system are gathering on September 19, 2011 in New York City.

In fact, financial companies are not at the top of the list in either least taxes paid or CEO pay, according to an analysis by CNBC.com. Their effective corporate tax rate is right in the middle of the pack ranking sixth among all 10 S&P 500 sectors, standing at 28.8 percent.

By comparison, technology companies have the second highest amount of average earnings, but have the lowest effective tax rate among the group, 23.4 percent.

In terms of compensation as a percent of earnings, CEOs of financial companies are paid the least among their fellow executives at 0.21 percent of earnings or about $20 million. That compares to CEOs of telecom and material companies, which on average, earn 1.1 percent and 0.69 percent of earnings.

These conclusions came from financial statements of the ten largest companies in each sector of the S&P 500. CNBC.com looked at earnings before taxes (EBT), income tax expenses and effective tax rates for the 2010 fiscal year.

Total CEO compensation, which includes salary, bonuses, estimated stock options and other incentives, was calculated as a percent of earnings in order to gauge the level of compensation among top executives.

The chart below breaks it down by sector.


Ideas for By The Numbers? Send them to giovanny.moreano@nbcuni.com