WeightWatchers Shares Drop As Oprah Winfrey Decides To Exit Board

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Shares of WW International, also known as WeightWatchers, took a pounding on Thursday after the company disclosed that media icon Oprah Winfrey will exit its board later this year.

The loss of the hugely popular public figure from its board at a time when WW is struggling to turn a profit sent its shares down 25.6% to $2.84 in premarket hours. They have more than halved in value so far this year.

The company said Winfrey, who has been a board member since 2015, will donate her WW shares to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

She owned 1.13 million shares worth $6.34 million as of Jan. 1, LSEG data showed.

Winfrey’s donation would help “eliminate any perceived conflict of interest around her taking weight loss medications,” the weight-loss services firm said on late Wednesday.

The talk show host said last year that she uses prescription medication to manage her weight.

Shares of the New York City-based company have also been hurt due to “exacerbated concerns” around its growth prospects and liquidity, Barclays analyst Stephanie Davis said.

The stock had more than doubled in value last year on hopes for a boost from its acquisition of telehealth platform Sequence, which marked its entry into the lucrative market for prescription obesity drugs, offered by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly

But the company’s 2024 estimates somewhat dashed those hopes. It forecast revenue in the range of $830 million to $860 million on Wednesday, below analyst expectations of $896.2 million.

WW International has a lower forward price-to-earnings multiple – a common benchmark to value stocks – of 13.55 compared to 17.21 for rival USANA Health  Services.

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