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New Year’s resolutions aren’t helping Weight Watchers: Pro

With the start of a new year comes resolutions and perhaps one of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight. However, that hasn't translated into a boost for Weight Watchers stock.

While there is typically a bump for weight-loss names heading into the new year, this year the market appears to be making a bearish bet on Weight Watchers, R.J. Hottovy, an equity analyst at Morningstar, told CNBC on Friday.

"The company has been repositioning its platform to make it more modern … that being said, the recruitment side of the equation and whether or not consumers are willing to pay up for weight-loss management programs, that's still a big question in the market's eyes," he said in an interview with "Street Signs."

The New York-based company closed down more than 13 percent Friday, and is down over 30 percent from a year ago.

A Weight Watchers center in Culver City, Calif.
Jordan Strauss | WireImage | Getty Images
A Weight Watchers center in Culver City, Calif.

Hottovy said Weight Watchers has admitted it was a little slow to react to the competition from mobile platforms.

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"By the introduction of mobile devices out there, it has commoditized parts of the weight-loss management industry and I think that is going to put some pressure on the company whether or not consumers are willing to pay up for those type of products anymore," he said.

However, he noted that Weight Watchers has done innovative things like integrate its platform with fitness monitors and connect clients with a weight coach over mobile devices.

Beyond the mobile aspect is the company's ability to partner with health plans and companies to run their weight-loss programs, Hottovy said.

"Weight Watchers' health solutions business I think is the most defensible part of the company," he noted. "As you look beyond 2015 … that I think is going to be the most meaningful part of that business because there is a tremendous amount of demand from insurance companies to have that partner to run their weight-management programs."

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Midyear would be the best time to look into possibly investing into Weight Watchers, when its plans for 2016 start to come out, he said.

—CNBC's Stefanie Kratter contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Hottovy, his family and his firm do not own WTW.

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