Oprah Trims Weight Watchers Stake After Worst Losing Streak in Years

WTW shares yesterday suffered a seventh straight loss

Managing Editor
Mar 7, 2018 at 9:39 AM
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The shares of Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW) were in the red ahead of the bell, after spokesperson and high-profile investor Oprah Winfrey sold almost a quarter of her WTW stake. However, Winfrey's company, Harpo, said she will not sell more WTW shares this year, and the media mogul maintained that she is "deeply committed to Weight Watchers" and continues to "see a bright future for the company." At last check, Weight Watchers stock has reversed higher, up 3.8% at $60.64 -- and set to snap a lengthy losing streak.

Overall, WTW has had a great year, picking up more than 220% over the past 12 months. However, since touching a five-year high north of $77 on Feb. 20, the security has struggled, and yesterday suffered its seventh straight loss -- tying its longest losing streak since late 2015.

Despite the stock's recent pullback, options trader sentiment has been bullish of late, with data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) showing WTW with a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.28, ranking in the 88th annual percentile. This suggests calls have been purchased over puts at a faster-than-usual clip over the past two weeks.

Echoing this, Weight Watchers stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.69 ranks in just the 10th annual percentile. This low ranking suggests that short-term speculators have rarely been more call-skewed toward the stock during the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) stands at a lofty 99 out of 100, which indicates that WTW shares have handily exceeded options traders' volatility expectations during the past year.

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