Weight Watchers shares crashed 28 percent on Tuesday after the company posted disappointing fourth quarter results and provided a weak 2019 forecast that the company is trying to turn to a wellness company from a diet brand.
"While we are proud of our achievements in 2018, we had a soft start in 2019 against last year's strong performance with the launch of WW Freestyle, CEO says. Mindy Grossman in a statement. "Given our winter campaign not recruited as expected, we have focused on improving members' recruitment trends. We quickly moved to the course properly, including introducing new creativity with a stronger call and further optimizing our media mix."  The company tried to move away from its roots as a diet firm, and dropped "weight" from its name and rebranding as WW. Younger consumers have largely hid counting calories, instead trying to just eat clean or be more aware of what they eat.
Leaders believed that becoming a wellness partner rather than a diet brand could also keep customers alive rather than the length of their weight goals.
"While we are disappointed with our beginnings in 2019, we are confident that our strategy of focusing on providing holistic wellness solutions that take advantage of our best weight management program is the right way to support long-term sustainable growth," Grossman said.
Weight Watchers said it will drain spokeswoman, investor and board member Oprah Winfrey, playing a key role in the company's spring TV and digital marketing campaign.