Weight Watchers Earnings: Oprah Put Her Finger on the Scale

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Weight Watchers International Inc. (NASDAQ: WW) reported its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed on Tuesday. The firm said that it had $0.78 in earnings per share (EPS) and $369.0 million in revenue, which compared with consensus estimates of $0.64 in EPS and $376.11 million in revenue. The second quarter from last year had $1.01 in EPS and $409.7 million in revenue.

End of period subscribers in the second quarter were up 1.5% year over year to 4.6 million. End of period digital subscribers were up 8.3%, and end of period studio subscribers were down 11.1%.

Total paid weeks were down 0.6% from the prior-year period. Digital paid weeks increased 6.6% and studio paid weeks decreased 13.2% year over year.

Looking ahead to the 2019 fiscal full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $1.55 to $1.70 and revenues of at least $1.4 billion. Consensus estimates call for $1.52 in EPS and $1.4 billion in revenue for the year.

Mindy Grossman, president and CEO, commented in the release:

Member recruitment trends improved throughout the second quarter as we saw good response to our spring campaigns. End of period subscribers increased 1.5% year-over-year to 4.6 million – our highest level ever for a second quarter. We are focused on building momentum and look forward to launching our new program innovation later this year, which we believe will accelerate subscriber growth in 2020. We are still early in our journey as a global holistic wellness company with the best-in-class weight management program, and we see tremendous opportunities ahead to drive growth in 2020 as well as over the long-term.

Grossman noted Oprah’s efforts in the conference call saying:

I’m sure many of you saw the U.S. campaign with Oprah Winfrey surprising WW members with a video of FaceTime call to celebrate the success on WW. We mirror this approach in many of our international markets, including utilizing Alison Hammond in the UK and Motsi Mabuse in Germany. The surprise and delight these calls elicited has definitely resonated across media channels and social.

Shares of Weight Watchers traded up about 37% to $28.73 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $16.71 to $80.88. The consensus price target is $26.06.

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