After the market close on Tuesday, the weight loss company reported first-quarter revenue rose 7 percent to $329 million, compared to the $323 million analysts surveyed at Factset expected. Weight Watchers posted first-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share, trouncing Wall Street's estimates for a loss of 4 cents a share.
At the heart of the out-performance: Weight Watchers saw a 16 percent surge in its subscribers to 3.6 million, marking its sixth-straight quarter of positive membership growth.
For the full year, Weight Watchers said it expects earnings in the range of $1.40 and $1.50 a share, compared to its previous guidance of earnings between $1.30 and $1.40 a share.
"We feel really good about the strong quarter," Weight Watchers CFO Nicholas Hotchkin told TheStreet in an interview. "Our digital experience is better, people are losing 15 percent more weight [with Weight Watchers] and our Beyond the Scale program is really resonating with members."
Beyond the Scale, Weight Watchers' newest weight loss program, was launched in 2016. Hotchkin hinted that more programs following the same approach as Beyond the Scale, which promotes healthy living not just eating, are in the works for this year.
Shares spiked 14 percent to $24.18 in early trading on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, there's a lot of excitement on Wall Street ahead of Mindy Grossman, currently the CEO of home goods retailer HSN (HSNI) , taking control of Weight Watchers. Grossman is expected to assume the role of president and CEO at the weight loss company sometime in July. She will effectively resign from her current role at HSN on May 24.
Grossman, who will replace acting CEO Hotchkin, also held executive positions at retailers such as Nike (NKE) - Get NIKE, Inc. (NKE) Report and PoloRalph Lauren (RL) - Get Ralph Lauren Corporation Class A Report . In September, former CEO James Chambers resigned from Weight Watchers, sparking a nationwide search for a new company chief led in part by shareholder, board member and spokeswoman Oprah Winfrey.
"I think Mindy brings such a varied skill set as a business leader, innovator and she has such a passion for Weight Watchers being a member herself," Hotchkin told TheStreet. "The key thing I'm most excited about seeing is how her vision and passion will translate into broadening our appeal in other segments."
Hotchkin said, specifically, he hopes Weight Watchers attracts a wider base of young members under Grossman's direction.
"The best is yet to come," he said.
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