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Cbeyond (NASDAQ: CBEY), a leading provider of cloud and network services to small and medium sized businesses, has been named to Forbes’ list of “ America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.” The annual list recognizes publicly-traded U.S. companies that demonstrate superior transparency and integrity in business categories ranging from accounting practices to overall corporate governance and management.

Forbes partnered with financial analytics firm GMIRATINGS (GMI) to assign quarterly accounting and governance risk (AGR) scores to more than 8,000 public companies; these scores measure the levels of risk that corporate behaviors could potentially generate for shareholders. GMI then grouped the 100 companies with the highest scores into large-, mid- and small-cap subsets.

Cbeyond ranked among the most trustworthy small-cap companies, achieving an average AGR score of 93 (out of 100) during the previous 12 months.

“The core of Cbeyond’s corporate culture is integrity and honesty and we work hard to uphold these values,” said Jim Geiger, president and CEO of Cbeyond. “Establishing and maintaining trust and transparency with our customers, partners, employees and shareholders is fundamental to us, and we are thrilled Forbes has highlighted this on our behalf.”

In constructing the list, Forbes and GMI evaluated companies using the following criteria:
  • Companies must have achieved a market cap of at least $250 million as of March 2012.
  • During the last four quarters, companies must have achieved “average” or “conservative” AGR scores. While companies were rewarded with higher scores for effective, transparent behaviors, their scores were penalized for 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.
  • Companies did not amend filings or become the subject of enforcement actions from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • Companies had to rank highly in GMI’s Equity Risk Ranking, which indicates a positive forecast for equity returns.
  • Companies also needed to demonstrate a minimal likelihood of financial distress, as measured by GMI’s Bankruptcy Risk model.

When the list was announced, GMI chairman James Kaplan noted the most common link among the selected companies is “what they don’t have – problems that indicate elevated risk, ranging from high executive compensation to incentives not aligned with shareholder interests.”

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