Monday, October 19, 2015

Oprah Raises WTW to Overweight, Stock Jumps 105%

$13.92 up $7.13 at the close.
From Business Insider:
Oprah made a huge bet on Weight Watchers, and the stock is going parabolic 
Weight Watchers shares are going bonkers.
The stock is up 117% following news that Oprah Winfrey made a big bet on the company.
But given the magnitude of the rally, there may be more than just the "Oprah effect." 
There's speculation that the stock is experiencing a short squeeze. This occurs when short-sellers — who profit from a falling price — are forced to cover their shorts, a process that involves the short-sellers to frantically buy the stock. 
In a press release Monday, the weight-loss-assistance company said Winfrey joined its board and purchased newly issued stock representing a 10% stake of shares outstanding. She also bought options to acquire an additional 5% of fully diluted shares....MORE
Here are the various analyst moves over the last five years via Yahoo Finance:

Upgrades & Downgrades History
DateResearch FirmActionFromTo
Aug 19, 2015Morgan StanleyUpgradeUnderweightEqual-Weight
Jun 3, 2015Craig HallumInitiatedHold
Feb 18, 2014BarclaysDowngradeEqual WeightUnderweight
Nov 4, 2013BarclaysDowngradeOverweightEqual Weight
Nov 1, 2013BarclaysDowngradeOverweightEqual Weight
May 4, 2012Standpoint ResearchInitiatedBuy
Mar 9, 2012Barclays CapitalInitiatedOverweight
Feb 15, 2012AurigaDowngradeBuyHold
Sep 28, 2011AurigaInitiatedBuy
Dec 1, 2010WedbushInitiatedOutperform

Back in a 2009 CSCO post I rambled:
Barclay's overweight/equal weight/underweight rating system gets kinda funny when they talk Weight Watchers, currently at "Underweight".
It's like my dream was made manifest by Ms. Winfrey.