Labrador, a global communication firm specializing in regulated disclosure documents, today announces the winners of the inaugural U.S. Transparency Awards. The rankings compare the efficacy of corporate disclosure documents among the top S&P 250 companies by market capitalization trading on the NYSE or Nasdaq. This year’s top honor is awarded to The Coca-Cola Company for the Best Overall corporate disclosure across its annual proxy statement, form 10-K and investor relations website.
After successfully launching 10 years ago in France, the first U.S. Transparency Awards recognize the quality and completeness of information that top U.S. companies make available to investors. Rankings were determined by reviewing the annual proxy statement, form 10-K and investor relations website of each company, using 93 different criteria2 based on four pillars of transparency: accessibility, accuracy, comparability and availability. The criteria used in the rankings are available to the public and can be found at www.transparencyawards.com/criteria.
“More than 23,000 data points were collected and reviewed as we determined this year’s rankings. While applying the extensive set of criteria, carefully selected using the methodology developed by an international group of independent stakeholders, each data point was ranked based on its importance in the investor community,” explains Molly Doran, director of advisory & design services at Labrador. “Our hope is that the Transparency Awards and the criteria used in the rankings will encourage companies to adapt and innovate how they communicate through their regulated disclosure.”
Best Overall: The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company receives top honors for best in overall corporate disclosure, with BlackRock, Inc. and Southern Company ranking second and third overall, respectively. All three companies differentiated themselves by providing dedicated landing pages for all annual meeting materials, a section within the proxy highlighting business performance and identified and explained cybersecurity as a risk within the 10-K.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized for the transparency of our disclosure, as transparency is an area that’s going to be increasingly important going forward,” explains Tim Leveridge, vice president and director of investor relations, The Coca-Cola Company. “Investors are facing mounting pressure and have limited time to make investment decisions, so the more transparent, clear, and to the point we are with disclosure the easier it is for them to do their work and understand the risks and opportunities related to our company.”
Best Proxy Statement: Southern Company
Awarded for issuing the best proxy statement, Southern Company provides investors with the information needed for informed decision-making in advance of the company’s annual shareholders meeting. The Raytheon Company and BlackRock, Inc. received the second and third highest scores in the category. All three nominees stood out by including easy-to-understand graphics within a corporate citizenship or environmental, social and governance (ESG) section and specific feedback from the board evaluation process.
Best Form 10-K: American International Group, Inc.
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) issued the top form 10-K, providing stakeholders with an in-depth summary of the company’s annual financial performance. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation ranks second and Intel Corporation ranks third in the category. These top nominees for Best Form 10-K stood out by including a glossary or keyword index and at least one graphic within the Business Summary section.
Best Investor Relations Website: Altria Group, Inc.
The award for best investor relations website goes to Altria Group, Inc., with Bank of America Corporation and Sysco Corporation receiving the next highest rankings. The investor relations website for each company stood out by providing easy public access to the annual meeting webcast or transcript.
Rankings by Industry
The U.S. Transparency Awards also recognizes the best disclosure by industry, allowing companies to compare themselves amongst their direct peer set. The companies awarded for best corporate disclosure in each of the top 10 U.S. industries are as follows.
- General Motors Company for Consumer Discretionary
- Walmart, Inc. for Consumer Staples
- ConocoPhillips for Energy
- BlackRock, Inc. for Financials
- Medtronic PLC for Healthcare
- Caterpillar, Inc. for Industrials
- Intel Corporation for Information Technology
- LyondellBasell Industries for Materials
- AT&T, Inc. for Telecommunication Services
- Duke Energy Corporation for Utilities