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A company’s accounting risk can be an indicator for the persistence of earnings – that is, companies with lower accounting risk may be more likely to post positive earnings in future periods after posting positive results today.

With next week’s reporters in mind, we screened the companies for those with conservative accounting risk. To gauge this, we used forensic accounting firm Audit Integrity’s Accounting and Governance Risk score.

Scores closer to 100 indicate increasingly conservative risk, and the score incorporates different analyses of potential accounting problems such as revenue and expense recognition.

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Do you think these companies are more likely to post positive results next week? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis into this earnings season’s reporters.

List sorted by AGR score.

1. Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES): Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing Industry. Market cap of $27.34B. Earnings to be released on 4/27/11. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Conservative accounting and governance risk, with an AGR score of 86. The stock has gained 26.25% over the last year.

2. Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE:LNC): Life Insurance Industry. Market cap of $9.22B. Earnings to be released on 4/27/11. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Average accounting and governance risk, with an AGR score of 78. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.55). LNC might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.91, and P/FCF ratio at 5.5. The stock has lost 8.97% over the last year.

3. The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW): Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $44.85B. Earnings to be released on 4/28/11. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Average accounting and governance risk, with an AGR score of 77. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.25). The stock has gained 28.76% over the last year.

4. Ameriprise Financial Inc. (NYSE:AMP): Asset Management Industry. Market cap of $15.35B. Earnings to be released on 4/25/11. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Average accounting and governance risk, with an AGR score of 72. The stock has gained 30.12% over the last year.

5. Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE:WY): REIT. Market cap of $12.15B. Earnings to be released on 4/29/11. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Average accounting and governance risk, with an AGR score of 72. After a solid performance over the last year, WY has pulled back during recent sessions. The stock is 4.63% below its SMA20 and 5.91% below its SMA50, but remains 18.69% above its SMA200. The stock has gained 19.68% over the last year.

6. BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE:BWA): Auto Parts Industry. Market cap of $8.35B. Earnings to be released on 4/28/11. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Average accounting and governance risk, with an AGR score of 71. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 12.31% (equivalent to 7.14 days of average volume). The stock has gained 85.87% over the last year.

7. Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S): Wireless Communications Industry. Market cap of $14.35B. Earnings to be released on 4/28/11. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Average accounting and governance risk, with an AGR score of 70. The stock has gained 14.56% over the last year.

8. Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $11.64B. Earnings to be released on 4/28/11. According to Audit Integrity, the company has Average accounting and governance risk, with an AGR score of 70. XEL has a relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.43), which may be appealing to risk-averse investors. The stock has gained 15.36% over the last year.

*AGR score sourced from Audit Integrity, earnings date and all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 8 Companies With Conservative Accounting Practices Reporting Earnings This Week