State Street’s SPDR Morgan Stanley Technology ETF MTK announced that it had received a $108,328 payment from a class action settlement related to Juniper Networks, Inc. The SPDR has slightly more than 2.7 million shares outstanding, meaning that the payment will translate into just over 4 cents of gain per share.
Standard & Poor Depositary Receipts, also known as "spiders", are exchange traded funds designed to track the S&P 500 Index and other indexes, like the Morgan Stanley Technology Index (MSH), which are managed by State Street Global Advisors. Publicly traded, they can be tied to a variety of underlying assets, including stocks, bonds or commodities. State Street manages over $274 billion in over 100 ETFs.
Such funds regularly receive payments related to settlements affecting their underlying securities. In this case, the $108,328 payment is tied to the settlement of two class action suits: In re Juniper Networks, Inc. Securities Litigation, Case No. C 06-04327-JW, and the New York City Employees’Retirement System, et al., v. Lisa C. Berry, Case No. C 08-0246-JW. The class actions alleged that Juniper and some of its officers and directors engaged in a multi-year scheme to backdate stock options to enrich themselves, and failed to record $900 million in compensation expenses associated with these options. The settlement, which resolved the class actions, will pay a total of $169.5 million to investors who either purchased Juniper common stock within a the time period of July 11, 2003 through August 10, 2006, or received Juniper common stock in connection with the company’s merger with NetScreen Technologies, Inc. This merger closed on April 16, 2004.
Over the past year, State Street SPDRs have received settlement payments tied to class actions against such companies as UnitedHealth Group, Inc., Bank of America Corp., Mills Corp. and Broadcom Corp.