Shares of Weight Watchers gained as much as 14 percent in early trading Thursday after the company reported lower-than-expected quarterly losses and the first membership uptick in four years.
The stock closed up about 3 percent after losing some of its earlier gains.
Membership grew for the first time since 2012, up 4.8 percent from the previous year, the company said Wednesday. The number of Weight Watchers members reached 3.1 million, with 11.2 percent growth in North America. Offset by membership declines in Europe, global subscribers were up 7.6 percent. Total attendance at meetings also jumped 18 percent year-over-year.
Weight Watchers also raised its full-year earnings guidance to between 80 cents and $1.05.
"Our first quarter loss was smaller than we expected, and for the first time since 2012 we grew our total subscribers year-over-year, clearly demonstrating that our business is turning around," Jim Chambers, Weight Watchers' president and CEO, said in a statement Wednesday.