Nielsen Holdings, Market Share King, Settles Securities Suit over Its Own Market Troubles

Ratings and Analytics Company Settles for $73 Million

Case Name: Nielsen

Settlement Fund: $73,000,000

Claim Filing Deadline: July 15, 2022

Class Period: 2/11/2016 -- 7/25/2018

Symbol: NLSN

Investors are receiving notices this week in the Nielsen securities litigation. The team at CCC is already reviewing trade data and preparing claims for hundreds of our clients and tens of thousands of their client accounts. If you want the burden of filing claims in this settlement, and in any of the other 40+ upcoming securities class action settlements, give us a call today at 312-204-6970.

What this case is about

Nielsen, the market share rating company famous for ranking what's hot and what's not on television, has settled a securities suit over allegations it defrauded the market, "by knowingly or recklessly making materially false and misleading statements and omissions about Nielsen’s Buy and Watch businesses." So say the plaintiffs in their amended complaint.

Nielsen's "Buy" segment helps companies track retail transactions. The "Watch" segment tracks user data for television, radio, and the internet. For both services, Nielsen can also interpret this data for their clients so they can then better market their products and get more people to, you know, buy and/or watch things.

Throughout the class period, plaintiffs allege, Nielsen's executives made a series of confident claims about how well business was doing when in fact the company was experiencing, "a dramatic trend: clients no longer wanted to pay for Nielsen’s analytics."

On February 11, 2016, which is the beginning of the class period, Nielsen announced that the Buy segment would, “strengthen and expand.” Plaintiffs argued that, "The market was excited by Nielsen’s news of growth and client spending, and Nielsen’s stock price increased by 4.2% that day, to close at $47.33. Analysts called Nielsen a 'safe haven' and discussed their confidence in Nielsen based on [its] 'stability'" Eventually, on the back of these alleged misstatements, Nielsen stock traded in the mid $50 range.

Plaintiffs claim that Nielsen "shocked the market" on October 25, 2016 during its third quarter earnings call by finally admitting its Buy market was experiencing a decline, which contradicted months of rosy statements. "On this news the stock dropped $9.28 (6.8%) per share, on extremely heavy trading volume, to close at $45.65 per share. Analysts were astounded by this news..."

Nielsen common stock continued to fluctuate, and mainly decline, in the ensuing months-- and worse was yet to come. Nielsen began to struggle with its Emerging Markets segment, and allegedly obfuscated and concealed this fact. Finally, the full picture was revealed on July 26, 2018 when the company released its second quarter results for the year. Jamere Jackson, Nielsen's CFO, told investors the company had experienced, “one of the most challenging quarters for our business in over a decade.” While Nielsen had claimed that the Emerging Markets segment might grow by 8%-10%, it had only grown by 0.3%. The Developed Markets segment also saw considerable decline. The company had expected a decline of 2%-4%, but in fact it fell by 6.9%. On this news, Nielsen stock fell to $22.11 per share. 

While denying any wrongdoing, Nielsen has settled this suit for $73 million. Claims are due July 15, 2022. If you would like to discuss this case further with one of our account executives, or learn how you can keep up with the 100-plus securities settlements each year, then please give us a call at 312-204-6970.

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