US utility Duke Energy has been ranked No. 1 among US utilities for investor transparency by an independent financial communications firm.
Labrador Advisory Services reviewed the proxy statements, 10-K filings and website investor pages of the nation’s 250 largest companies, based on market capitalisation.
The firm ranked Duke Energy’s investor disclosures No. 1 for transparency among the nation’s utilities – and No. 16 among all companies – based on quality and completeness of information.
“Duke Energy takes transparency and disclosure seriously,” said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy executive vice president and chief legal officer. “The company’s credibility and reputation depend on providing clear, complete, easily accessible information to customers, investors and the general public.”
Duke Energy “placed within the Top 20 across all industries for several reasons,” Labrador said.
- Duke Energy’s proxy statement “includes key graphics that help investors quickly digest information, such as graphics for the board’s age, independence and gender. In addition, Duke includes a skills matrix and provides an interactive version of the proxy.”
- Duke’s 10-K filing “aids the reader by providing a secondary table of contents preceding the financial statements, and uses a two-column page layout.”
- Duke Energy’s investor web pages “provide easy access to the annual meeting webcast and transcript, and also the company’s bylaws.”
Labrador’s evaluation – culminating in its inaugural “U.S. Transparency Awards” – included 93 different criteria based on what it called “four pillars of transparency”:
- “Accessibility – Quickly finding comprehensive information.
- “Accuracy – Obtaining all the regulatory content and additional information that allows for better understanding.
- “Comparability – Presenting information that enables quick comparison among issuers, thanks to strict compliance with regulatory and market standards.
- “Availability – Having access to all information as soon as possible, in appropriate languages, and in all formats (paper, web, etc.) so that no reader is at an advantage or disadvantage.”
“More than 23,000 data points were collected and reviewed as we determined this year’s rankings,” said Molly Doran, Labrador’s director of advisory and design services.
“Each data point was ranked based on its importance in the investor community. 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 disclosures,” Doran said.