NEWS
12/22/2016 06:13 EST | Updated 12/23/2017 00:12 EST

Oprah Winfrey's loss is Weight Watchers' gain

NEW YORK — Oprah Winfrey's loss is Weight Watchers' gain.

The former talk show host, who bought a nearly 10 per cent stake in the weight loss company last year, sent shares soaring Thursday after saying in a new ad that she's lost more than 40 pounds on the plan, all while eating pasta and tacos.

Shedding pounds is Winfrey's financial gain as well as Weight Watchers.

She spent about $43.2 million in October 2015 for 6.4 million shares. On Thursday, that stake was worth about $77 million.

But even Oprah has been unable to outpace enormous changes in the weight loss market. Weight Watchers has been facing increasing competition from free apps and technology that tracks food intake and exercise.

Weight Watchers stock is down about 50 per cent so far this year.