5 Investors Betting Big on Weight Watchers (WW) Stock as Oprah Backs Out


  • WW International (WW) director Oprah Winfrey will not seek re-election at the company’s upcoming annual shareholders’ meeting in May.
  • Contrarious Investment Management is the largest shareholder of WW, with ownership of 7.44 million shares.
  • Other significant shareholders of WW stock include Millennium Management and Balyasny Asset Management.
WW stock - 5 Investors Betting Big on Weight Watchers (WW) Stock as Oprah Backs Out

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Shares of WW International (NASDAQ:WW) stock are plunging lower after the weight loss and fitness company reported its fourth-quarter earnings. WW also revealed that Oprah Winfrey has decided not to seek re-election as director of the company. Winfrey first joined WW’s board in 2015.

“I look forward to continuing to advise and collaborate with WeightWatchers and CEO Sima Sistani in elevating the conversation around recognizing obesity as a chronic condition, working to reduce stigma, and advocating for health equity.”

On top of that, Winfrey announced that she would donate her stake in WW stock to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Winfrey will also donate the proceeds of her WW stock options to NMAAHC when they are exercised.

During Q4, WW generated $206 million of revenue, down by 7.6% year-over-year (YOY) compared to $222.9 million. Subscription revenue tallied in at $196.1 million, down by 2.4% YOY. The fall in revenue comes as pharmaceutical giants Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) have witnessed success with their respective weight-loss drugs.

5 Investors Betting Big on WW Stock as Oprah Backs Out

Tracking institutional ownership is important, as these large investors provide liquidity and support for stocks. During Q4, 198 13F filers disclosed a stake in WW stock, a decline of one filer compared to the prior quarter. However, the total number of shares owned by these filers increased by 5.16% to 65.44 million. Only one 13F filer owns the company in their top 10 positions, and that is Timelo Investment Management.

Hedge funds, whose data is included in 13F metrics, leaned more bearish. 59 hedge funds disclosed a stake in WW, an increase of two funds from the prior quarter. Still, the total number of WW shares owned by hedge funds fell by 14.18% to 25.14 million.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at WW’s largest institutional shareholders:

  1. Contrarious Investment Management: 7.44 million shares. Contrarious added 2.12 million shares during Q4.
  2. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS): 6.75 million shares. Morgan Stanley added 4.96 million shares during Q4.
  3. Millennium Management: 4.64 million shares. Millennium sold 954,816 shares during Q4.
  4. BlackRock (NYSE:BLK): 4.53 million shares. BlackRock acquired 257,734 shares during Q4.
  5. Balyasny Asset Management: 4.53 million shares. Balyasny acquired 1.51 million shares during Q4.

On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.  

Eddie Pan specializes in institutional investments and insider activity. He writes for InvestorPlace’s Today’s Market team, which centers on the latest news involving popular stocks.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2024/02/5-investors-betting-big-on-weight-watchers-ww-stock-as-oprah-backs-out/.

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