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Weight Watchers rallies after Oprah's Golden Globes speech

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 1/4/2018 Nathan Bomey

Media icon, actor and entertainment executive Oprah Winfrey's buzzworthy speech Sunday night at the Golden Globes has generated speculation that she could run for president in 2020

It's also had a more immediate effect -- on her brand and net worth.

The feverish publicity rippling from Winfrey's soaring speech, in which she hailed brave women who have spoken up about sexual harassment and abuse, appears to have translated into a sharp boost for one of her key endorsements and investments.

Weight Watchers, whose stock has skyrocketed since Winfrey bought 10% of the company in October 2015, got another lift Monday.

The dieting company's shares jumped 10.2% in morning trading.

Presumably, investors are thrilled at the enormous and unexpected round of positive publicity for Winfrey's brand.

Weight Watchers representatives were not immediately available for comment Monday morning. A spokesperson for Winfrey was also not immediately available for comment.

CNN's Brian Stelter reported Monday that Winfrey is "actively thinking" about running for president.

Since Winfrey enthusiastically backed Weight Watchers, crediting it with helping her shed pounds, the company has been on a tear. Membership, sales and profits have soared.

Winfrey, who also serves on the company's board, bought her stock at $6.79 apiece for a total investment of $43.2 million in 2015, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

As of Jan. 2, she owned 9.9% of the company, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. She is also CEO of the cable channel OWN.

With 6.37 million shares in Weight Watchers, she made a paper profit of nearly $30 million on Monday morning. That's still a drop in the bucket for Winfrey's net worth, which Forbes has estimated at $2.8 billion.

But it could go a long way toward jump-starting a presidential campaign.


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