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TMCNet:  Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP Files Class Action Suit against Weight Watchers International, Inc.

[March 21, 2014]

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP Files Class Action Suit against Weight Watchers International, Inc.

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP ("Robbins Geller") (http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/weightwatchers/) today announced that a class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of Weight Watchers International, Inc. ("Weight Watchers") (NYSE:WTW) common stock during the period between February 14, 2012 and October 30, 2013 (the "Class Period").

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than 60 days from March 21, 2014. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff's counsel, Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at djr@rgrdlaw.com. If you are a member of this class, you can view a copy of the complaint as filed or join this class action online at http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/weightwatchers/. Any member of the putative class maymove the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.


The complaint charges Weight Watchers and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Weight Watchers is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, 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, the complaint alleges 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." In response to this announcement, 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 providing disappointing full-year fiscal 2013 earnings guidance that widely missed Thomson Reuters' (News - Alert) 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. Then, 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 price 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.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of Weight Watchers common stock during the Class Period (the "Class"). The plaintiff is represented by Robbins Geller, which has expertise in prosecuting investor class actions and extensive experience in actions involving financial fraud.

Robbins Geller represents U.S. and international institutional investors in contingency-based securities and corporate litigation. With nearly 200 lawyers in ten offices, the firm represents hundreds of public and multi-employer pension funds with combined assets under management in excess of $2 trillion. The firm has obtained many of the largest recoveries and has been ranked number one in the number of shareholder class action recoveries in MSCI's Top SCAS 50 every year since 2003. Please visit http://www.rgrdlaw.com for more information.


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