GovernanceMetrics International gave its highest rating of corporate governance attributes to 33 companies — 22 from the United States, seven from Canada, and two each from Australia and the United Kingdom, according to semiannual ratings on more than 3,200 global companies released today. The 33 companies each earned a rating of 10. As a group, they "outperformed the S&P 500 index as measured by total shareholder returns for each of the last one-, three- and five-year periods ending Sept. 1," beating the S&P 500 by 11.40, 6.09 and 15.19 percentage points, respectively, according to a GMI statement.
In general, companies with good corporate governance ratings of nine or more returned an average of 15.93% for the year, compared with 8.73% for companies with poor ratings of three or lower, the statement said.
Tyco International Ltd. had the most improved rating, moving to nine from 1.5 at the end of 2002 because of a wide range of governance reforms, GMI said.
About 1%, or 320, companies were rated one, the lowest rating on GMI's scale, said Gavin Anderson, GMI CEO.