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When it comes to good corporate governance, Intuit and Microsoft
rank high among software stocks, while i2 Technologies and Ariba are
among the worst.
The ranking draws from a limited sample: the 10 software stocks covered
by Salomon Smith Barney. The investment bank released the list on the
occasion of adding ISS's so-called corporate governance quotient, a
measure of a company's corporate governance policies based on 51
variables, to its research notes.

Company    Corp Gov. Rating
INTU           94.5
MSFT           87.5
SEBL           75
JDAS           64.2
EPNY           44.6
VIGN           41.2
PSFT           37.9
INFA           19.2
ARBA            6.2
ITWO            5.4

Many of the companies plagued by corporate scandals did not rank
well, Bellini said in her note. For instance, Adelphia had a
corporate governance quotient of 16, Worldcom 11 and Enron 42. The
number reflects the percentage of companies the firm outperformed in
the relevant benchmark index (a rating of 95 means that the firm
outperformed 95% of the companies in the relevant benchmark index).
So what distinguishes the companies at the top from those at the
bottom? Companies such as Intuit, Microsoft and Siebel Systems have a board
controlled by a majority of independent outsiders; a compensation
committee composed solely of independent outside directors; a CEO who
serves on the boards of two or fewer other companies; directors who
receive all or a portion of their compensation in stock; and non-
employee directors who do not participate in the company's pension
plan, according to ISS and Salomon

One of the more informative articles I've seen in a while.  Some nice
attributes to shop for in addition to a balance sheet.

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