|By PR Newswire||
|April 25, 2014 05:20 PM EDT||
NEW YORK, April 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Pomerantz LLP announces the filing of a class action lawsuit against Weight Watchers International, Inc. ("Weight Watchers" or the "Company") (NYSE: WTW) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and docketed under 14-cv-2216, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of Weight Watchers between February 14, 2012 and October 30, 2013, both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"). This class action seeks to recover damages against the Company and certain of its officers and directors as a result of alleged violations of the federal securities laws pursuant to Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.
If you are a shareholder who purchased Weight Watchers securities during the Class Period, you have until May 20, 2014, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at [email protected] or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll free, x237. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares purchased.
Weight Watchers provides weight management services in North America, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and internationally.
The Complaint alleges that the defendants issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company's financial performance and future prospects and failed to disclose adverse facts, including that: (a) Weight Watchers was experiencing execution issues which were causing it to miss its internally forecasted financial plan; (b) Weight Watchers was experiencing a significant drop in its North America and United Kingdom meeting attendance figures; and (c) Weight Watchers was facing increased competition from free weight-loss apps and its enrollment was being negatively impacted. As a result of the foregoing, defendants lacked a reasonable basis for their positive statements about Weight Watchers, its revenues, earnings, prospects and business.
On February 14, 2012, Weight Watchers announced results for its fourth quarter and full-year 2011, and provided full-year 2012 earnings guidance. In addition, Weight Watchers announced that it planned to launch a "modified Dutch auction" tender offer the following week for up to $720 million of its common stock with a price range between $72 and $83 per share, and that it separately had agreed to purchase shares held by its controlling shareholder, Artal Group, S.A. ("Artal"), at the same price paid in the tender offer. The tender offer closed on March 22, 2012. Earlier that month, defendants David Kirchhoff and Ann Sardini exercised large quantities of options in the $42-$53 per share range, and sold large quantities of Weight Watchers shares on the open market for $80-$82 per share. On March 22, 2012, they also tendered shares to the Company for $82 per share. Combined, Kirchhoff and Sardini received gross proceeds on shares sold of approximately $11 million.
On April 9, 2012, per the terms of the tender offer, Artal sold 9.5 million shares at $82 per share, for total proceeds of $779 million.
On May 2, 2012, the Company announced its results for its 2012 first quarter - the period ended March 31, 2012, just nine days after the tender offer closed - and revised downward its full-year 2012 earnings guidance that it had previously provided on February 14, 2012. Defendant Kirchhoff attributed the disappointing results to "execution issues."
On this news, the price of Weight Watchers common stock fell 18%, from $76.01 per share on May 2, 2012, to close at $62.29 per share on May 3, 2012.
On February 13, 2013, Weight Watchers issued a press release announcing its fourth quarter 2012 financial results and provided disappointing full-year fiscal 2013 earnings guidance that widely missed Thomson Reuters' consensus estimate.
On this news, the price of Weight Watchers common stock plummeted 17%, from $54.11 per share on February 13, 2013, to close at $44.91 per share on February 14, 2013.
On October 30, 2013, Weight Watchers announced its results for the third quarter of fiscal 2013, disclosing that year-over-year quarterly revenues had declined 8.5%, and that quarterly net income had decreased by 10.5% and fully-diluted quarterly earnings per share had declined 11.2% from the same period the prior year. In addition, Weight Watchers announced that it had indefinitely suspended its dividend, which it had paid regularly since 2006.
On this news, Weight Watchers stock fell $7.81 per share, or over 19%, from a close of $39.92 per share on October 30, 2013, to close at $32.11 per share on October 31, 2013.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and San Diego, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 70 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members.
Robert S. Willoughby
SOURCE Pomerantz LLP