While it is far too late to suggest that we have reached an inflection point with regard to the options backdating litigation, we have certainly reached a reflection point, with the recently announced Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) settlement. The $169 million class action settlement is the 6th nine-figure settlement of an options backdating securities class action. Given that some early prognosticators suggested the total settlement value of all of these cases would not exceed $1 billion, it's time to crunch the numbers once more.
Of the 39 options backdating cases that have been filed as securities class actions, 34 have now reached a resolution. Of the resolved cases, 9 of those cases have been dismissed and 25 have settled.
The twenty five settlements total $2.13 billion, for an average of $85.1 million. But, removing the largest settlement (UnitedHealth Group) lowers the average back to $50.08 million. This continues the recent trend of the average settlement value of these cases rising, after a prolonged decline following the UnitedHealth settlement.
As we have previously noted, the options backdating cases have settled more quickly on average, than other cases. The twenty five cases have settled in an average of 717 days. While the numbers have been slowly creeping up as the remaining cases linger, the average time from filing to settlement is still below historical levels.
As always, our complete analysis can be accessed in this presentation.