Why Shares of Weight Watchers International Inc. Rocketed Higher on Friday

By Timothy GreenFool.com

What: Shares of weight loss management company Weight Watchers surged on Friday following the company's third-quarter earnings report. While revenue declined significantly year-over-year, the company beat analyst estimates across the board. At 12:40 p.m. Friday, the stock was up about 35% from the previous close.

So what: Weight Watchers reported quarterly revenue of $273.3 million, down 20.8% year-over-year but about $7 million higher than analysts were expecting. Last month, Weight Watchers announced a deep partnership with Oprah Winfrey, and in December the company plans to launch "a comprehensive program innovation as we expand our purpose from weight loss alone to more broadly helping people lead healthier, happier lives," according to CEO Jim Chambers.

Continue Reading Below

Non-GAAP EPS was $0.39, down 42% year-over-year but $0.10 higher than the average analyst estimate. The total number of subscribers declined by 12.7% year-over-year to 2.57 million, with the number of paid weeks slumping 15.7%.

Now what: Along with reporting a better-than-expected third quarter, Weight Watchers raised its guidance for the full year. EPS is expected to be between $0.64 and $0.74, still down significantly compared to EPS of $1.74 during 2014, but higher than the company's previous guidance of $0.57-$0.72.

The effects of the Winfrey partnership won't start to truly play out until next year, following the company's December revamp of its program and a new advertising campaign. The stock surged on news of the Winfrey deal in October, and following the post-earnings jump today, shares have now risen by about 280% over the past three months. The stock is now nearly flat year-to-date as extreme pessimism surrounding the company has given way to Oprah-fueled optimism, but the company still has a lot of work to do in order to turn around its business.

The article Why Shares of Weight Watchers International Inc. Rocketed Higher on Friday originally appeared on Fool.com.

Timothy Green has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright 1995 - 2015 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.