Health: WeightWatchers shares fall by almost a fifth

Health: WeightWatchers shares fall by almost a fifth

WeightWatchers is under pressure. Investors are wondering what the increasing popularity of weight loss medications will mean for the traditional diet business. Now Oprah Winfrey is also leaving.

Diet specialist WeightWatchers lost almost a fifth of its value in one day. The company ended the previous quarter with a decline in sales and a higher loss – and popular television presenter and actress Oprah Winfrey also announced her departure from the board of directors. She also wants to donate her shares.

The shares of WW International, as the company is officially called, have been under pressure since autumn. Investors are wondering what the increasing popularity of weight loss drugs such as Ozempic or Wegowy will mean for the future of WeightWatchers’ classic diet business. The price has now fallen by around 18 percent to $3.12.

Winfrey has been an ambassador for WeightWatchers for years. However, in an interview with People magazine in December, she said that although she continues to add up points for various foods according to the company’s diet model, she now also uses weight loss medications to avoid a yo-yo effect .

WeightWatcher is also trying to participate in the trend towards weight loss medications with its WW Clinic offer. Members can have medicines prescribed to them via the telemedicine platform.

Oprah Winfrey is the largest individual shareholder

With a stake of 1.43 percent, Winfrey is WW’s largest individual shareholder, wrote the financial service Bloomberg. She announced that she would donate her stake to the Museum of African-American History and Culture.

Winfrey has been on the WeightWatcher board of directors since 2015. She would like to step down at the annual general meeting in May – but will continue to cooperate with the company. WeightWatcher emphasized that the move was not due to disagreements or any activity by the company.

In the last quarter, WeightWatchers’ sales fell by 7.6 percent year-on-year to $206 million (190.6 million euros). The bottom line loss widened to $88 million from $35.8 million a year earlier. The number of subscribers fell from 4 to 3.8 million within three months. At WW Clinic it moved from 45,000 to 67,000 during this time.

Source: Stern

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