Sioux Falls, S.D. – Forbes magazine has recognized NorthWestern Energy as one of America's Most Trustworthy Companies for a third year.
The recently released list of 2013's 100 Most Trustworthy Companies is compiled from an examination of more than 8,000 companies traded on U.S. securities exchanges by GMI Ratings. GMI looks at more than 60 different governance and forensic accounting measures to develop its trustworthiness rankings.
"Those companies that persistently display the most accounting transparency; have the lowest incidence of high-risk events; and have appropriate Board supervision are typically ranked the highest. Companies on this list reflect these practices," said GMI vice chair and chief executive James A. Kaplan.
NorthWestern Energy was also named to the Forbes list in 2010 and 2012. Forbes didn't release a list in 2011.
"We don't claim to be perfect," said Bob Rowe, NorthWestern Energy's CEO. "We do take a ‘best practices' approach to corporate governance, with developments reviewed by our Board of Directors at every meeting. We want to be a strong company over the long term, able to serve our customers for many decades to come."
In releasing its annual list, Forbes noted that some corporations are models of openness and integrity, despite a stream of news about bankruptcies, bailouts, CEO scandals and other controversies.
"We think it's important to recognize that in this environment of negativity, there are companies that do a consistently good job of managing their business," said GMI's Kaplan.
GMI assigns each of the 8,000 companies it examines an accounting and government risk score, or AGR. The company says it has established a direct correlation between its AGR assessments and the likelihood of negative events such as class-action litigation, Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions, financial reporting delays, bankruptcy filings and poor stock price performance.
GMI assigned NorthWestern an AGR score of 96 on the 2013 list; the highest score was a 99.
There is significant evidence that the cost of capital for the most trustworthy companies is lower because "their level of transparency is recognized in the marketplace," Kaplan said. "Also, we have found evidence that, on balance, the most trustworthy companies outperform their peers over the long term."
To be considered for the list, the 100 companies had to have a market capitalization of $250 million or more in March 2013. NorthWestern had a market capitalization of $1.46 billion at the time of the rankings. It is one of three utility companies to land on the 2013 Forbes list.
NorthWestern Energy is one of the largest providers of electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 673,200 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the Company's website at www.northwesternenergy.com.