Both the volume and value of U.S. securities class action settlements dropped in 2019, according to new data from ISS Securities Class Action Services LLC.
The firm reported that there were 101 settlements in 2019, valued at $3.17 billion (all figures U.S. dollars). Both of those totals were down from the previous year, when there were 126 settlements, valued at $5.84 billion.
However, much of the difference in settlement value was due to a single $3-billion settlement in 2018. The largest settlement in 2019 was for $389.6 million.
“While 2019 was not as rich as 2018 in terms of overall settlement value, the settled cases represented a significant victory for shareholders,” said Ivar Eilertsen, head of ISS Securities Class Action Services.
The firm also noted that 74 federal court settlements were linked to alleged insider trading violations, 17 were tied to registration issues and six were tied to alleged violations of accounting rules.
Along with the monetary damages, four companies were required to restate their financials.
ISS Securities Class Action Services said that there are two major settlements expected in 2020, including one involving Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and one with American Realty Capital Properties. Both are expected to top the $1-billion mark.