February 5, 2021. The Court in The Southern Company securities matter (Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division) approved an $87.5 million settlement for the benefit of the Class of Southern common stock investors. Plaintiffs alleged that Southern misled investors regarding the construction timeline of a “clean coal” power plant. Professor Steven Feinstein of Babson College and Crowninshield Financial Research provided expert analysis and testimony establishing that Southern Company stock traded in an efficient market and that a damages methodology can be applied commonly to measure damages for all Class members. In addition, Crowninshield Financial Research consulted on the plan of allocation.
The Court cited Professor Feinstein’s findings in its Opinion and Order Granting Class Certification:
“The Court finds that Professor Feinstein’s analysis of one- and two-day event windows, in addition to his other, non-empirical findings, provides further evidence of market efficiency. The Court rejects Defendants’ argument that Professor Feinstein’s event study failed to establish sufficiently an evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship. … In combination with Professor Feinstein’s other market efficiency findings, including those related to the Eleventh Circuit’s ‘indicia of efficiency’ and the other Cammer and Krogman factors, the Courts finds that Plaintiffs have established by a preponderance of the evidence that the market for Southern Company stock was efficient, such that Plaintiffs are entitled to the fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance.”
Additional information is available at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd.