Cornerstone Research and the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse have released a report on federal securities class action filings in 2003. The findings include:
(1) Securities class actions (not including IPO allocation, analyst research, or mutual fund trading practices cases) declined by 22% between 2002 and 2003, falling from 225 to 175 filings.
(2) Companies sued in 2003 lost more than $540 billion in market capitalization, down from $1.9 trillion in 2002.
(3) There were fewer huge cases. In 2003, there were 14 filings in which the defendant companies lost more than $10 billion in market capitalization. In 2002, there were 40 filings with this type of market capitalization loss.
(4) The top three circuits in number of filings in 2003 were the Second Circuit (37 filings), the Ninth Circuit (34 filings), and the Eleventh Circuit (21 filings).
(5) Insider trading by corporate defendants was alleged in 33% of the 2003 filings (as compared to 26% in 2002).
(6) Auditors and underwriters were named as defendants in a very small percentage of all filings both in 2002 and 2003.