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Omar Venerio
Omar Venerio
Articles (1538) 

Dow Stocks Turn Negative on Wednesday

Weight Watchers shares advance on strong outlook

Dow stocks were in the red on Wednesday. After the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates, other countries followed suit. Thailand’s central bank cut rates by 25 basis points and India’s central bank cut its rate by 35 basis pointsThe Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.13% to 25,994, the S&P 500 Index gained 0.06% to 2,884 and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.33% to 7,860.

Shares of Weight Watchers International Inc. (NASDAQ:WW) soared more than 40% after announcing second-quarter results. The company posted earnings of 78 cents per share on $369 million in revenue, reflecting a 9.9% decline from the prior-year quarter. The company beat earnings estimates by 13 cents, but revenue fell $7.11 million short of expectations.

“Member recruitment trends improved throughout the second quarter as we saw good response to our spring campaigns," President and CEO Mindy Grossman said. "End of period subscribers increased 1.5% year-over-year to 4.6 million – our highest level ever for a second quarter.”

By segment, Service Revenues were $313.8 million, a 6.9% decline versus the prior-year quarter due to studio member recruitment declines. Product Sales and Other recorded $55.3 million in revenue, a 14.5% decline from the prior-year quarter, primarily due to a decline in product sales.

Further, the operating income was $105.5 million, down from $127.7 million a year ago as a result of lower revenue in the quarter.

Looking ahead to the third quarter, the company expects 2019 revenue to be a minimum of $1.4 billion. It also raised its earnings guidance to a range of $1.55 to $1.70 per diluted share.

During the quarter ended March 31, Jeff Auxier (Trades, Portfolio) reduced his holding by 0.3% to 15,507 shares and Ray Dalio (Trades, Portfolio) and Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio) sold out all of their positions. Chuck Royce (Trades, Portfolio) established a new 1,848-share holding, while Jim Simons (Trades, Portfolio) invested in a 1,918,712-share stake. Lee Ainslie (Trades, Portfolio) boosted his position by 2396% to 54,566 shares.



Global markets

The main European stock markets traded in the green. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.38%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.61%, Germany's Dax advanced 0.71% and Spain's IBEX 35 swelled 0.54%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 sunk 0.33%, India’s BSE Sensex lost 0.77%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.08% and China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.32%.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in any stocks mentioned.

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About the author:

Omar Venerio
Omar Venerio is a capital markets, derivatives, corporate finance and financial management professor and Area Head of Finance. He is passionate about the stock market and providing independent fundamental research and hedge fund and insider trading-focused investigation.

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