Weight Watchers International Inc (NYSE:WTW) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the largest provider of weight control programs in the world. The core of their business is weekly meetings, in which they present thier scientifically designed program, incorporating group support and education about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. “

WTW has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Weight Watchers International from $13.00 to $18.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 8th. Sidoti lowered shares of Weight Watchers International from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Weight Watchers International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Weight Watchers International has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $20.44.

Weight Watchers International (WTW) traded up 4.20% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $34.74. 1,275,702 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $27.84 and its 200 day moving average is $18.07. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.23 billion, a PE ratio of 25.93 and a beta of 3.05. Weight Watchers International has a 1-year low of $9.37 and a 1-year high of $34.98.

Weight Watchers International (NYSE:WTW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported ($0.01) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.05) by $0.04. Weight Watchers International had a net margin of 7.51% and a negative return on equity of 6.30%. The company had revenue of $329.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $322.80 million. Analysts forecast that Weight Watchers International will post $1.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Corinne Pollier-Bousquet sold 9,543 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.84, for a total transaction of $237,048.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 23,910 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $593,924.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 15.75% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. bought a new position in shares of Weight Watchers International during the second quarter valued at approximately $271,000. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. bought a new position in shares of Weight Watchers International during the first quarter valued at approximately $3,308,000. Tudor Investment Corp ET AL raised its position in shares of Weight Watchers International by 88.1% in the first quarter. Tudor Investment Corp ET AL now owns 110,341 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,718,000 after buying an additional 51,695 shares during the period. Paloma Partners Management Co bought a new position in shares of Weight Watchers International during the first quarter valued at approximately $242,000. Finally, Symmetry Peak Management LLC raised its position in shares of Weight Watchers International by 34.0% in the first quarter. Symmetry Peak Management LLC now owns 33,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $522,000 after buying an additional 8,500 shares during the period. 86.47% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Weight Watchers International Company Profile

Weight Watchers International, Inc is a provider of weight management services. The Company operates globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. The Company’s branded products and services include meetings conducted by its franchisees, digital weight management products provided through its Websites, mobile sites and applications, products sold at meetings, licensed products sold in retail channels and magazine subscriptions and other publications.

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