Oprah Winfrey is a lot of things -- media personality, rags-to-riches inspiration, Weight Watchers Int'l Inc. (WTW) - Get Weight Watchers International, Inc. Report spokesperson. Could she soon add presidential candidate to the list?
After delivering a rousing acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globes on Sunday, Jan. 7, Oprah became the subject of an all-out internet frenzy calling on her to run for president in 2020.
That was welcome news for Weight Watchers, the company in which Oprah holds a 10% stake and for which she's marketed for years. Shares of Weight Watchers rallied more than 12% to $52.57 in trading Monday, Jan. 8, as the company enjoyed its biggest intraday gain in two months.
According to data from S3 Analytics, Oprah netted $36.4 million in mark-to-market profit on her 6,370,283 Weight Watchers shares.
Oprah reportedly told Bloomberg back stage at the Golden Globes that she has no intention of making a bid for the White House. But a separate report from CNN on Monday cited anonymous sources close to the media mogul who said she's "actively thinking" about running.
The 63-year-old's speech Sunday was incredibly well-received, garnering widespread internet attention for its head-on yet diplomatic approach to issues including sexual violence, gender bias and racial discrimination.
But while Weight Watchers shares skyrocketed Monday, a President Winfrey could be bad news for the weight loss company.
That's because Oprah would likely have to sell her stock in the company and would no longer be able to star in Weight Watchers commercials. Losing a high-profile figure such as Oprah would leave Weight Watchers without its most recognizable star.
Weight Watchers stock set off on a tear since Oprah announced her stake in the company, joined the board and agreed to an ongoing marketing deal in 2015. Since Oprah announced the tie-in, shares have gained more than 650%.
While President Winfrey might be a welcome notion for many, it might not be so appetizing for Weight Watchers.
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