Securities class action filings remained at near record levels last year, as public companies faced a greater threat of being sued than in any previous year, according to a prominent report released on Wednesday.

Cornerstone Research, which is based in San Francisco, found in its annual report that plaintiffs filed 403 new federal class action securities cases in 2018, down just 2 percent from a record high of 412 in 2017. However, core filings—which do not include cases stemming from mergers and acquisitions—ticked up to a total of 221 last year, the study found.

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