Standard & Poor's gave Baker-Hughes Inc., Bausch & Lomb Inc. and Progress Energy Inc. the best ratings for corporate governance among S&P 500 companies. The rankings were based on transparency and disclosure in annual reports, 10-K filings and proxy statements on ownership structure, investor rights and financial transparency, among other factors. The S&P scores companies only on disclosure of these corporate governance attributes; it doesn't judge the practices or policies, said Marjory Appel, senior vice president-marketing and communications.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest rating, the three were the only companies to receive a score of 9. American Power Conversion Corp., Apollo Group Inc., and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. received the lowest scores, a 6 for each. The other companies were scored at 7 or 8. S&P plans to update the scores annually, Ms. Appel added.