6 Of Forbes’ “Most Trustworthy Companies” Are From MN

Hawkins, Tennant Company, Patterson Companies, Capella Education, Apogee Enterprises, and Buffalo Wild Wings were recognized for their corporate credibility.

Forbes has released its latest list of the “100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America,” and twice as many Minnesota companies made the cut this year.

The annual list is developed by GMI Ratings, which focuses on non-traditional risk measures for financial analysis. GMI reviews the accounting and governance practices of more than 8,000 public companies in North America, looking specifically at factors like “high-risk events,” including abnormal changes in employee counts or share repurchases; “corporate governance events” such as accounting issues or late filings; revenue and expense recognition methods; actions from regulators; and bankruptcy risk. Those factors are viewed as indicators of a company’s credibility.

GMI then creates an accounting and government risk rating (or “AGR score”) based on companies’ performances, and Forbes publishes a list of the 100 companies that earned the highest scores for trustworthy behavior over the four quarters of the previous fiscal year. (In other words, the list is meant to identify companies that are honest and accurate in their reporting; it is not necessarily a measure of the companies’ financial success.) To qualify for the roster, companies had to have market caps of at least $250 million.

Six Minnesota companies made the cut this year.

Of them, Hawkins, Inc., has the highest current AGR score: 99 out of a possible 100. The Minneapolis-based company makes industrial and water-treatment chemicals. Its average score over the past year is 94.

Tennant Company—a Golden Valley-based manufacturer of floor maintenance and outdoor cleaning equipment, as well as chemical-free and sustainable cleaning technologies, coatings, and related products—has a current AGR score of 98. Over the past four quarters, its average AGR score is 94.

Mendota Heights-based Patterson Companies, Inc., which distributes supplies for the dental, rehabilitation, and veterinary markets, has a current score of 93, while it has averaged a score of 74 for the past year.

Capella Education Company, the Minneapolis-based parent company of online school Capella University, has a 92 AGR score. Its average score over the past year is 79.

Bloomington-based Apogee Enterprises, which makes glass for the architectural and picture-framing industries, was given a score of 87—for both its yearlong average and its current rating.

And Golden Valley-based restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc., also made the cut with a current score of 83 and an average rating of 84 over the past four quarters.

This year marked an improvement for Minnesota companies. Only three companies from the state made last year’s “most trustworthy” list.

In addition, several companies with ties to Minnesota appeared on this year’s list. For example, Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores, which recently acquired two-dozen Stop-n-Go gas stations in Minnesota and North Dakota, had an AGR score of 100, the highest possible. And Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, which also appears on the list, reportedly made a bid to buy Minnetonka-based Michael Foods, one of Minnesota's largest private companies.