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The following is a list of stocks that have announced buybacks in the past couple of months. Additionally, all of these stocks have conservative accounting practices, according to the ratings developed by forensic accounting firm Audit Integrity.

Audit Integrity was founded in 2002 to develop risk management tools based on a statistical analysis of corporate integrity. The Accounting and Governance Risk (AGR) rating is a forensic measure of the transparency and reliability of a corporation’s financial reporting and governance practices. The closer the score is to 100, the more conservative the company's accounting practices, according to Audit Integrity.

All the companies in this list have high AGR scores above 85, i.e. more conservative and transparent accounting practices than most other firms.

With buyback programs proving some downside protection, this list might offer an interesting starting point to risk averse investors. Full details below.

Short float values sourced from Finviz, AGR ratings sourced from Audit Integrity.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. Note: The numbers on top of items represent the forward P/E ratio, if available.



The list has been sorted alphabetically.

1. Analogic Corporation (NASDAQ:ALOG): Scientific & Technical Instruments Industry. Market cap of $658.95M. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 95. The company announced the buyback of $30M on Dec-09-10 (represents about 4.55% of current market cap). Short float at 4.44%, which implies a short ratio of 9.95 days. The stock has gained 30.19% over the last year.

2. Chemed Corp. (NYSE:CHE): Home Health Care Industry. Market cap of $1.42B. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 100. The company announced the buyback of $70M on Dec-27-10 (represents about 4.92% of current market cap). Short float at 3.52%, which implies a short ratio of 6.23 days. The stock has gained 33.81% over the last year.

3. Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS): Business Services Industry. Market cap of $4.16B. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 99. The company announced the buyback of $500M on Oct-26-10 (represents about 12.02% of current market cap). Short float at 3.43%, which implies a short ratio of 3.75 days. The stock has gained 17.38% over the last year.

4. Dycom Industries Inc. (NYSE:DY): Heavy Construction Industry. Market cap of $574.73M. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 97. The company announced the buyback of $20M on Nov-23-10 (represents about 3.48% of current market cap). Short float at 2.87%, which implies a short ratio of 2.99 days. The stock has gained 101.98% over the last year.

5. Healthways Inc. (NASDAQ:HWAY): Specialized Health Services Industry. Market cap of $406.92M. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 93. The company announced the buyback of $60M on Oct-21-10 (represents about 14.74% of current market cap). Short float at 4.1%, which implies a short ratio of 5.38 days. The stock has lost -30.48% over the last year.

6. Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:LSCC): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $758.89M. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 100. The company announced the buyback of $20M on Oct-21-10 (represents about 2.64% of current market cap). Short float at 3.69%, which implies a short ratio of 2.77 days. The stock has gained 136.76% over the last year.

7. ProAssurance Corporation (NYSE:PRA): Property & Casualty Insurance Industry. Market cap of $1.82B. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 86. The company announced the buyback of $200M on Nov-11-10 (represents about 11.01% of current market cap). Short float at 2.88%, which implies a short ratio of 7.39 days. The stock has gained 17.63% over the last year.

8. Rightnow Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:RNOW): Application Software Industry. Market cap of $880.94M. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 90. The company announced the buyback of $15M on Nov-17-10 (represents about 1.7% of current market cap). Short float at 14.3%, which implies a short ratio of 7.3 days. The stock has gained 64.89% over the last year.

9. Unum Group (NYSE:UNM): Accident & Health Insurance Industry. Market cap of $7.97B. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 97. The company announced the buyback of $1 B on Feb-02-11 (represents about 12.54% of current market cap). Short float at 1.49%, which implies a short ratio of 2.17 days. The stock has gained 27.55% over the last year.

10. United Stationers Inc. (NASDAQ:USTR): Wholesale Industry. Market cap of $1.45B. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 94. The company announced the buyback of $100M on Oct-25-10 (represents about 6.89% of current market cap). Short float at 5.06%, which implies a short ratio of 8.6 days. The stock has gained 13.43% over the last year.

11. WD-40 Company (NASDAQ:WDFC): Specialty Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $680.92M. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting practices, with an AGR score of 97. The company announced the buyback of $25M on Dec-14-10 (represents about 3.67% of current market cap). Short float at 1.91%, which implies a short ratio of 4.21 days. The stock has gained 34.85% over the last year.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 11 Buyback Stocks With Conservative Accounting Practices