Weight Watchers shares soar 6% premarket after DA Davidson upgrades stock to buy
Weight Watchers International Inc. shares rose 6% in premarket trade Friday, after DA Davidson upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and said investor expectations for the 2020 diet season are too subdued. "WW has already reported improved recruitment trends, chatter on app download data indicates stabilization of subscriber trends, and our proprietary analysis of Reddit comments indicates keto interest could be fading," analyst Linda Bolton Weiser wrote in a note to clients. "Our data also show improved sentiment toward the meeting experience in 2Q19 vs. 1Q19. We believe 2019 earnings risk is low." The analyst said proprietary research finds brand sentiment up strongly in the second quarter after a decline in the first quarter. DA Davidson generates monthly and quarterly sentiment scores by scraping relevant comments from Reddit and YoutTube. The investment firm raised its stock price target to $32 from $24.50. Weight Watchers shares have fallen 35% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.