Weight Watchers explodes after earnings top forecasts and subscribers grow

Weight Watchers shares surged by as much as 21% in after-hours trading on Tuesday after the company beat on earnings and its outlook for the year.

Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share was $US0.20, swinging from a loss in the same period a year ago and beating analysts’ forecast by one cent according to Bloomberg.

Weight Watchers saw full-year EPS in a range of $US1.30 to $US1.40, more than the forecast for $US1.17.

CEO Nick Hotchkin said in the earnings statement that the company saw 10% subscriber growth in 2016 compared to the prior year. Analysts have been concerned about the pace of subscriber growth amid growing competition from free apps, and questions about the effectiveness of its diet program.

Oprah Winfrey bought a 10% stake in the company in 2015, sending the shares up by more than 100% on the news. The stock has subsequently jumped after Oprah tweeted about her weight loss through Weight Watchers.

Weight Watchers uses a points system to help members keep track of what they’re eating.

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