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Jan 9, 2018

S3 Analytics: Oprah Up $36 million, Shorts Down $41 million after Golden Globes Speech

Weight Watchers International Inc.’s (WTW) stock price spiked over 12% on the heels of Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech after receiving the 2018 Cecil B. de Mille award. Her stirring acceptance speech and rumors of a 2020 presidential run tweeted by CNN had a run-on effect on WTW’s stock price.

Weight Watchers spokesperson Oprah Winfrey is a 10% owner of the company and the $5.71 price move gave her a $36.4 million mark-to-market profit on her 6,370,283 shares. On the other side of the ledger, short sellers were down $41.2 million of mark-to-market losses on their 7,222,511 share short position. 

WTW short interest peaked in mid-August 2017 at $443 million and after hitting a yearly low of $208 million in September short sellers began to gradually accumulate short exposure. Short interest has remained relatively stable over the last several months, trading at a range between $300 million and $400 million.

Short sellers were down $338 million in year-to-date mark-to-market losses in 2017 and thanks to DJ Khaled and Oprah Winfrey, 2018 is continuing the losing trend with $60 million of year-to-date mark-to market losses. If the sales improve due to Weight Watchers new Freestyle Plan, short sellers may be down for a three knockdown TKO.

Want deeper insight into the above analysis? Contact:
Managing Director Predictive Analytics, S3 Partners, LLC
The information herein (some of which has been obtained from third party sources without verification) is believed by S3 Partners, LLC ('S3 Partners') to be reliable and accurate. Neither S3 Partners nor any of its affiliates makes any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information herein or accepts liability arising from its use. Prior to making any decisions based on the information herein, you should determine, without reliance upon S3 Partners, the economic risks and merits, as well as the legal, tax, accounting and investment consequences, of such decision.

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