Weight Watchers International Inc (NASDAQ:WW) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 26, 2019 • 05:00 pm ET


Weight Watchers International Inc (NASDAQ:WW) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day, and welcome to the WW Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2018 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in listen-only mode. [Operator Instructions] Please note, this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Corey Kinger. Please go ahead.

Corey Kinger

Thank you, Sean, and thank you to everyone for joining us today for WW's fourth quarter and full-year 2018 conference call. As of 4:05 PM Eastern Time today, we issued a press release reporting our fourth quarter and full-year 2018 results. The purpose of this call is to provide investors with some further details regarding the Company's financial results, as well as to provide a general update on the Company's progress. The press release is available on the Company's corporate website located at corporate.ww.com.

Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures disclosed on this conference call to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are also available as part of the press release.

Before we begin, let me remind everyone on the call will contain forward-looking statements. Investors should be aware that any forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed here today. These risk factors are explained in detail in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Please refer to these filings for a more detailed discussion of forward-looking statements and the risks and uncertainties of such statements. All forward-looking statements are made as of today and, except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Joining today's call are Mindy Grossman, President and CEO; and Nick Hotchkin, CFO.

I will now turn the call over to Mindy.

Mindy F. Grossman

Thanks, Corey. Good afternoon, everyone. I'm glad to be speaking with you today. After an outstanding year for WW in 2018, our start to 2019 and winter recruitment performance has been very disappointing, as reflected in the financial outlook we are providing today. Our winter campaign, while it did help drive positive perception and relevancy of the WW brand through its message of the why of WW and the livability of Freestyle, was not as effective at driving positive recruitment growth, especially when lapping the phenomenal success of the original launch of the WW Freestyle program in the prior-year period. In addition, given the particularly competitive winter diet environment, the campaign did not drive recruitment of our significant universe of lapsed members.

Our journey won't be linear, but in no way do these results diminish our confidence in our long-term strategy to focus on providing an ecosystem of holistic wellness solutions in addition to our best-in-class weight management program supported by the modern WW brand. There's a global paradigm shift underway in how people think about sustainable healthy habits and weight loss. Modernizing our brands, diversifying our audience and expanding our offerings to include more resources to support our members on their journeys are all