Oprah Winfrey dodged a big financial bullet when she sold off a quarter of her shares in Weight Watchers ahead of the stock losing nearly a third of its value on Tuesday.
As Business Insider reports, the 65-year-old media mogul sold the shares in March 2018, avoiding a loss estimated at $40 million after a report on Tuesday confirmed that Weight Watchers’ earnings guidance was less than half of what the company had anticipated.
Winfrey, who remains an ambassador for Weight Watchers, joined the company’s board in 2015 and purchased 6.37 million shares (approximately 10 per cent of the company’s total shares) at a price of about $6.79 per share. At the same time, she was afforded the right to acquire an additional 5 per cent of the company’s shares at the same price.
Due to Winfrey’s involvement, Weight Watchers shares went through the roof, doubling its value in a single day and climbing as much as 500 per cent after that.
In March 2018, Winfrey exercised options to purchase more than 1.4 million shares at a price of $6.97 apiece and sold a quarter of her stake at a price between $58.29 and $63.94 per share (according to a filing), earning a cool $110 million.
This, notes Business Insider, reduced her overall stake in the company to 5.42 million shares (approximately eight per cent of the company’s total shares), which saved her from taking an estimated $40 million loss when the stock plummeted on Tuesday.
According to Business Insider, Weight Watchers shares were trading at approximately $19 per share early Wednesday.