By 24/7 Wall Street -- 24/7 Wall St., working together with independent research firm Audit Integrity, has compiled a list of the companies with the least transparent governance and accounting practices.
The list is based on publicly available information updated for the 2009 calendar year. Shares of all the companies on this list are publicly traded on U.S. stock exchanges. This list is based on the same methodology that is used to produce "The 100 Most Trustworthy Companies," as published by Forbes. In our opinion, the companies with the lowest transparency scores are the least trustworthy companies in America.
To report which firms have the greatest shareholder risk, Audit Integrity's methodology breaks companies down into four groups. The AGR scores range from 0 to 100, worst to best and are classified as follows:
Very Aggressive - highest-risk companies, comprising approximately 10% of the total universe;
Aggressive - high-risk companies, comprising approximately 25% of the total universe;
Average - moderate-risk companies, comprising approximately 50% of the total universe; and
Conservative - low-risk companies, comprising approximately 15% of the total universe.
Read the full story ith a list of the 50 least transparent companies, plus check out our picks from 24/7 Wall Street's list below.
Industry: Investment Services Market cap: $72.39 billion Current Accounting and Governance Risk Rating (AGR): 1 Flagged governance metrics: 6 Flagged accounting metrics: 7 -- 24/7 Wall Street
Industry: Banks Market cap: $160.4 billion Current AGR: 1 Flagged governance metrics: 8 Flagged accounting metrics: 6 -- 24/7 Wall Street
Industry: Food Processing Market cap: $237.95 billion Current AGR: 3 Flagged governance metrics: 4 Flagged accounting metrics: 7 -- 24/7 Wall Street
Industry: Pharmaceuticals, diversified Market cap: $124.22 billion Current AGR: 1 Flagged governance metrics: 5 Flagged accounting metrics: 12 -- 24/7 Wall Street
Industry: Airlines Market cap: $832.89 billion Current AGR: 2 Flagged governance metrics: 2 Flagged accounting metrics: 8
Click here to check out 24/7 Wall St's FULL list of The 50 Least Trustworthy Companies In America.