Three MN Cos. Among “100 Most Trustworthy” in U.S.

Patterson, Apogee Enterprises, and Hawkins were recognized by Forbes alongside 97 others that have “consistently demonstrated transparent and conservative accounting practices and solid corporate governance and management.”

Three Minnesota companies appeared on Forbes’ recently released list of “America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies”—and they’re not the usual suspects that constantly appear on national lists.

The companies are Patterson Companies, Inc., Apogee Enterprises, Inc., and Hawkins, Inc.

The list was compiled by GMI Ratings, which Forbes referred to as a pioneer in the application of non-traditional risk measures for financial analysis. GMI used its proprietary accounting and government risk rating (or AGR score) to help determine the rankings. AGR ratings use a statistical process to identify accounting items associated with fraudulent financial statements and governance characteristics associated with firms prosecuted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for accounting fraud. Scores between 86 and 100 are considered “conservative,” and scores between 36 and 85 are considered “average.”

To qualify for the roster, companies had to have market caps of at least $250 million, and their AGR scores had to be in the conservative or average ranges. They also had to have a positive forecast for equity returns, minimal likelihood of financial distress, and no amended SEC filings, SEC enforcement actions, or material reinstatements.

Mendota Heights-based Patterson, which was in the mid-cap section of the list, distributes supplies for the dental, rehabilitation, and veterinary markets. Its current AGR score is 86, and its average score over the past year is 88. The company’s market value, meanwhile, is $3.1 billion.

Bloomington-based Apogee Enterprises, which appeared in the small-cap section of the list, makes glass for the architectural and picture-framing industries. Its current AGR score is 98, and its average score over the past year is 93. Its market value is $788 million.

Minneapolis-based Hawkins, which also appeared in the small-cap section of the list, makes industrial and water-treatment chemicals. Its current AGR score is 98, and its average score over the past year is 89. It has a market value of $426 million.

The companies that made the list have “consistently demonstrated transparent and conservative accounting practices and solid corporate governance and management,” Forbes said. In assessing companies for possible inclusion on the roster, GMI penalized those that had “unusual or excessive” executive compensation, high levels of management turnover, substantial insider trading relative to their corporate peers, or high levels of short-term executive compensation, which encourages management to focus on short-term results.

Several companies that aren’t based in Minnesota but have strong local ties also made the list. They include Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Associated Banc-Corp and Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle.

To see the full list, click here.