Weight Watchers International, Inc. (WTW) Stock Soars as Oprah Winfrey Becomes Spokeswoman


Shares of Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW) are up big this morning, after it has been announced that Oprah Winfrey will be joining the team as “spokeswoman”, as part of the new “Beyond the Scale” promotion. The first ads have debuted in the United States, with the first TV placement being titled “Oprah Winfrey’s New Weight Watchers Journey”.

Oprah, who owns a 10% stake in Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW), may have single handedly sent this stock soaring this morning. The promotion by the company and Oprah aims at allowing members of the weight management program to work as a team to lose weight, with the leader of that team being Oprah herself. Oprah apparently paid just $7 per share when she made her investment into the company.

The stock is up 6.73% or $1.21 following the news, hitting $19.21 per share. About 911,771 shares traded hands. WTW has risen 192.21% since May 22, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed the S&P500 by 194.47%.

From a total of 4 analysts covering Weight Watchers International (NYSE:WTW) stock, 1 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 3 a “Hold”. This means that 25% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $35 while the lowest target price is $6. The mean of all analyst targets is $15.07 which is -21.55% below today’s ($19.21) stock price. Weight Watchers International was the topic of 10 analyst reports since August 8, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Craig Hallum maintained shares on December 7 with a “Buy” rating. Morgan Stanley upgraded WTW stock in a recent report from August 19 to a “Equal Weight” rating. Finally, Zacks upgraded the stock to a “Hold” rating in a report they issued on an August 8.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.19 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.45, from 0.74 in 2015Q2. The ratio is positive, as 26 funds sold all their Weight Watchers International, Inc. shares they owned while 26 reduced their positions. 23 funds bought stakes while 39 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 53.36 million shares which is 0.69% more than the previous share count of 53.00 million in 2015Q2.

Ah Equity Partners Iii L.L.C. holds 30.43% of its total portfolio in Weight Watchers International, Inc., equating to 2,186 shares. Artal Group S.A. owns 29.44 million shares representing 4.2% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Pomelo Capital Llc has 2.13% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 806,100 shares. The Louisiana-based Diversified Investment Strategies Llc has a total of 0.68% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Permit Capital Llc, a Pennsylvania-based fund reported 104,400 shares owned.

Weight Watchers International, Inc. is a well-known provider of weight management services. The company has a market cap of $1.13 billion. The firm operates globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. It has 22.62 P/E ratio. The Firm provides Services and Products including: Weight Management Plans, Clinical Efficacy, and Meetings.