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Oprah announces she lost 26 pounds; Weight Watchers gains

Chicago: The shares of Weight Watchers International Inc jumped as much as 20 percent after investor and spokeswoman Oprah Winfrey tweeted saying that she has lost 26 pounds using the program.

"I lost 26 pounds, and I have eaten bread every single day," the entertainment mogul said in a video posted to Twitter.

The company's shares advanced from $2.17 to $13.29 after the release of the video. It may be recalled that the shares of Weight Watchers Inc had gained in October too after Oprah had said on the Ellen DeGeneres show that she'd lost 15 pounds.

Oprah's tweet managed to spotlight the weight loss for investors, it is notable that this is not the first time she's mentioned losing 26 pounds. The same thing was highlighted in the January edition of the Oprah magazine, when she wrote that she was "down 26 pounds since Aug. 12 and feeling more like the self I want to be."

Weight Watchers' investors are hopeful that Oprah's announcement would help turn around the company, which has struggled to compete with fitness apps and other programs in recent years.

The 61-year-old Oprah announced her partnership with Weight Watchers in October, saying she would buy 10 percent of the stock. She later also announced her plan to join the board. In late October, she reported that the stake was almost 15 percent, including options.

Short investors, who bet that stocks will go down, also have targeted Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers is one of the most expensive stocks to short. The cost to borrow shares is rated a 9 by Markit, with 10 being the highest. The average for the Russell 2000 is 1.6.

Oprah started appearing in ads endorsing Weight Watchers in December. The latest clip, which she posted with the tweet "Eat bread. Lose weight. Whaaatttt?" focused on her love of bread. "This is the joy for me," Winfrey said. "I don't deny myself bread. I have bread every day."