WW Worldwide Inc. suffered its worst month on file in January, erasing the wellness firm’s advance because it mentioned in March that it was coming into the rising marketplace for a brand new class of weight-loss medicine.
WW, higher generally known as WeightWatchers, slumped 6.1% on Wednesday, bringing its decline for the month to 57% amid rising competitors and concern round subscriber progress. The newest drop got here as a part of a broad market slide Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaled officers aren’t speeding to chop rates of interest.
The efficiency is a stark reversal from 2023. The inventory notched its largest one-day acquire since 2015 on March 7 after WW struck a deal for telehealth obesity-drug supplier Sequence. Enthusiasm across the acquisition and its potential to show round WW’s enterprise drove the shares up 127% final 12 months.
A key driver of the January weak point got here early within the month when Eli Lilly and Co. launched an initiative to promote weight-loss medicine on to the general public, threatening a key progress space for WW.
Some Wall Avenue analysts are anxious about potential indicators of waning demand for WW subscriptions.
At Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, analyst Alex Fuhrman warned this week that shopper curiosity in conventional weight-loss firms is “down considerably” from final 12 months. Downloads of the WW app on Android units and internet site visitors for the corporate have declined in early 2024, Fuhrman mentioned in a analysis word. He flagged equally weak tendencies for weight-loss startup Noom Inc.
To make sure, D.A. Davidson & Co.’s Linda Bolton Weiser mentioned WW cautioned in December that third-party knowledge might be noisy as a result of integration of Sequence into its app.
“Traders are very spooked concerning the app obtain knowledge,” she mentioned. “The pattern seems to have modified, however then again, the information could also be skewed.”
She mentioned WW’s subscriber replace with fourth-quarter earnings in March will make clear whether or not the app obtain knowledge precisely represents latest tendencies.
“Within the long-term, WeightWatchers remains to be well-positioned to be someone that can acquire main market share within the area,” she mentioned. “They’ve model fairness, whereas no person else actually does within the weight-loss area.”
WW has 4 purchase rankings, three holds and one promote amongst analysts tracked by Bloomberg. The typical analyst worth goal of $11 implies roughly 191% return potential over the subsequent 12 months.