January is a month full of hope for dieters but, as the year rolls by, our resolutions tend to fall by the wayside. Gyms know this, which is why they get so many new members around now and why it’s so difficult to cancel memberships. WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, doesn’t make it as tough. That’s not just ethical but smart: They have a lot of return customers.
I wrote about the company today. They were expecting a great 2021 even if lots of customers gave up as usual. Instead it was a dreadful year and their stock slumped by a third. Sentiment is about as bad as it was back in 2015 when Oprah Winfrey rode to the rescue, buying a tenth of the company, joining the board, and becoming their brand ambassador. Back then the stock rallied by 1,600% in three years.
I don’t think that will happen again, but it is cheap and one thing holding it back may soon reverse itself. Even though lots of people gained weight during the pandemic, the company’s bet that they would turn to their services to lose it proved wrong because people view dieting as punishment. They had already denied themselves so much during the pandemic that they were looking for a grace period.
There isn’t another Oprah waiting in the wings, but the stock is cheaper than it has been in quite some time. Full year results due next month might not look pretty. That might give patient investors a good entry point.