Weight Watchers International, Inc. WTW fell more than 5 percent Wednesday after the firm’s celebrity figurehead surrendered shares.
In a “normal diversification of her investment portfolio,” Oprah Winfrey divested or donated to her philanthropic foundation no more than 25 percent of her holdings, which regulatory filings showed previously totaled 6,369,893 shares. She intends not to sell any more this year, according to a press release.
“I am deeply committed to Weight Watchers and continue to see a bright future for the company,” Winfrey said in the statement.
Winfrey’s involvement in the company has been critical. Since she joined the program, the board and the investor base back in 2015, the stock has been on a tear, up 1151 at its peak in February 2018. In that time, Winfrey has seen her original investment, an estimated $44,343,857.90, grow to about $372,129,149.
And she seems to wield the power to increase it with a breath. Weight Watchers is at the mercy of her testimonies, her tweets, her intimated presidential prospects. The latter lifted shares 14 percent in January, and her subsequent denial of Oval Office ambitions catalyzed a 6-percent plunge.
Weight Watchers' stock seemed to be recovering Wednesday morning as investors considered the insignificant purpose of her divestiture. At time of publication, shares were down just 17 cents off Tuesday’s $58.42 close.
Photo by Bill Ebbesen/Wikimedia.
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