Weight Watchers 2011 Forecast Blows Away Expectations; Shares Rocket Higher (WTW)

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Weight management specialist Weight Watchers International, Inc. ( WTW ) on Thursday posted better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and provided at 2011 forecast that wowed investing, sending its shares soaring in premarket trading.

The New York-based company reported forth quarter net income of $48.9 million, or 66 cents per share, compared with just $18.7 million, or 24 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, adjusted profit was 64 cents per share.

Revenue jumped almost 15% from last year to $356.7 million.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of 56 cents per share, on lower revenue of $321 million.

The company's real surprise came in its guidance. For 2011, WTW said it expects full-year earnings to range from $3.50 to $3.85 per share, which would absolutely blow away analysts' view for $2.77 per share.

Weight Watchers shares surged $14.88, or +33%, in premarket trading Thursday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Weight Watchers ( WTW ) have a 1.56% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $44.92. The stock is blowing through all-time high levels of $57-$58 a share this morning. We'll see if this level of overhead resistance plays a role in the stock as the day progresses.

Weight Watchers International, Inc. ( WTW ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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