Weight Watchers' Stock Tumbles After Profit Outlook Falls Well Short Of Estimates

Weight Watchers International Inc.'s stock tumbled 13% in after-hours trade Thursday, after the weight management services company reported fourth-quarter profit that matched expectations, but provided a 2015 outlook that was well below forecasts. For the quarter ended Jan. 3, swung to a loss of $16.1 million, or 28 cents a share, from a profit of $30.8 million, or 54 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as restructuring and non-cash impairment charges, earnings per share were 7 cents, in line with the FactSet consensus analyst estimate. Revenue fell 10% to $327.8 million, missing the FactSet consensus of $333 million, as total paid weeks declined 7%. For 2015, the company expects EPS of 40 cents to 70 cents, below the FactSet consensus of $1.37. Costs associated with its plans to resize the company, which it plans to finalize during the first quarter, were not included in the 2015 profit outlook. "While we still believe in our underlying strategies, I am disappointed that we are not yet where we hoped to be and our turnaround will take longer than we had anticipated," said Chief Executive Jim Chambers. The stock has plunged 39% over the past three months through Thursday's close, compared with a 1.8% gain in the S&P 500.

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