Not Even Oprah Can Save Weight Watchers: Company Reports $11 Million in Losses for Fourth Quarter

Oprah has been telling America for weeks about her love of bread, but those ads have yet to boost Weight Watchers’ membership
Not Even Oprah Can Save Weight Watchers: Company Reports $11 Million in Losses for Fourth Quarter

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Weight Watchers stocks fell nearly 30 percent after the company reported an unexpected loss of $11 million. 

You get a loss, and you get a loss — everybody gets a loss.

Despite landing one of the most powerful public influencers last fall, Weight Watchers has reported a drop of $11.3 million in the fourth quarter, making it the 12th consecutive quarter during which the company’s earnings dipped.

The long-running weight-loss company had been hopeful that joining forces with Oprah, who bought a 10 percent stake in the company and joined the diet program, would be enough to reverse its fortunes. In recent ads for the company, the multimedia mogul has returned to TV screens to express her all-consuming love of bread.

However, Weight Watchers also reported that its number of active subscribers continues to fall, suggesting that the thought of being on the same weight-loss program as Oprah just isn’t enough of a draw for potential clients.

Oprah herself, who reportedly made $72 million in a single day when she announced the partnership, lost an estimated $42 million when stocks fell nearly 30 percent overnight — but don’t worry about her — she still has $30 million in profit from her initial investment.

Just recently, Weight Watchers bragged about the efficacy of its diet program as researched by a team at the Indiana University School of Medicine, which found that Weight Watchers was an effective treatment for prediabetes. The legitimacy of the study, however, was quickly called into question as it was funded directly by Weight Watchers.

At the moment, the company remains hopeful that its new, Oprah-approved direction will yield results.

“Our trajectory is turning around,” CEO Jim Chambers said during a hopeful earnings call. “It takes time for revenue to catch up.”

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