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After partnering with Oprah last October, Weight Watchers is watching the numbers fall. Unfortunately, that’s in dollars and cents — not pounds and ounces.
When Winfrey said she was taking a 10% stake in the company, joining its board and becoming its spokesperson, the weight-loss brand was hoping for a big boost. But Oprah hasn’t been much help to the weight loss company, even though the stock price rose more than 20% back in January after she said had lost 26 pounds using Weight Watchers.
“We still have yet to get any real post-Oprah results,” analyst Alex Fuhrman told CNBC. Last quarter, the company reported an $11 million loss and its stock dropped by 30%, and it’s just kept going down. This quarter, which includes New Year’s, when countless Americans make New Year’s resolutions to slim down, is a big one for Weight Watchers. The company is set to announce its results after the markets close on Wednesday. Altogether, the stock price has fallen 55% since it peaked after Oprah announced her involvement last fall.
Oprah has become a billionaire by being a savvy media player and marketer, but it’s not clear whether or not the talk-show host (whose own weight has fluctuated throughout the years) has the pull to draw in millions of new members for the struggling Weight Watchers. Analysts blame some of the diet company’s woes on the rise of activity trackers like Fitbit and mobile apps — some free — that can track calories and activities. For many, especially younger dieters. those are more attractive options.