Weight Watchers Rises After Quarterly Profit Beats Estimates

Weight Watchers International Inc. rose 35 percent after posting third-quarter profit and sales that topped analysts’ estimates, helped by cost cuts.

Profit in the quarter was 39 cents a share, excluding some items, the New York-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts estimated 29 cents, on average. While revenue fell 21 percent to $273.3 million, that beat analysts’ $266.3 million average projection.

Weight Watchers, which announced a partnership with Oprah Winfrey last month, has been working to trim expenses amid falling sales. Spending on marketing and selling, general and administrative costs all declined during the quarter. With the Winfrey partnership, Weight Watchers is shifting its strategy to helping people lead healthier, happier lives instead of just helping them slim down. Winfrey agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in the company, with an option to purchase an additional 5 percent, and join its board.

The shares climbed $5.96 to $22.89 at the close in New York. Weight Watchers has dropped 7.9 percent this year.

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