Oprah's loss is Weight Watchers' gain. When the media maven and partial owner of the weight-loss company tweeted about her recent 26-pound weight loss while participating in the program (and eating bread, no less), investors ate it up, resulting in a 23 percent spike in the company's stock in one day.
Winfrey inked a partnership with Weight Watchers in October, becoming a board member, 10 percent owner, pitchwoman and, of course, member. It seems the collaboration is working for the brand, and for Winfrey. She shared a video on Twitter exclaiming in typical Oprah fashion, "I. Love. Bread," then noted that she eats carbs every day on the Weight Watchers program and still loses weight.
Before Oprah's tweet at noon Eastern on Tuesday, Weight Watchers shares were trading at $11.44 a share, then rose nearly 16 percent, trading at $13.24 an hour later. By 10:30 a.m. today, the stock had spiked at $14.07—a 23 percent increase.
The tweet came ahead of a live, members-only online chat to be hosted by Winfrey, where she will answer questions and share her experiences on the program.
In TV spots for the brand, Winfrey uses her trademark emotional appeals and down-to-earth discourse that endeared her to talk-show fans and moms everywhere, spawned the OWN Network and generated countless book club selections and "favorite things" gift sets. In one spot, she encourages viewers by saying, "Let's do this together." In another, she says, "We all want to be healthier, but let's just get real. We also want to lose weight."
Weight Watchers, which has tapped celebrity endorsers such as Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson in the past, and other diet brands like Jenny Craig, which brought back Kirstie Alley as its spokesperson in January, are facing more intense competition as the slate of free weight-loss and calorie-counting apps expands. Weight Watchers' stock actually dropped in January after an initial spike following the partnership announcement in the fall.
In a press release announcing the deal with Winfrey in October, Ray Debbane, chairman of the board of directors at Weight Watchers International, said, "Oprah is a force of nature in connecting with people on a very personal level to live inspired lives. This partnership … will meaningfully expand our ability to impact many millions of people worldwide."