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Oprah sheds 40 pounds, Weight Watchers shares gain

Oprah Winfrey during an event on December 02, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Leon Sadiki | Foto24 | Gallo Images
Oprah Winfrey during an event on December 02, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Shares of Weight Watchers International jumped as much as 18 percent Thursday after billionaire Oprah Winfrey announced she lost weight on the program.

The stock later pared those gains but still ended the day 5 percent higher.

On Thursday, Weight Watchers introduced its "Live Fully" campaign with two new ads. Winfrey, a shareholder and the company's most famous customer, touted that she lost 40 pounds since she started the program.

"Weight Watchers is easier than any other program I've ever been on. It's a lifestyle, a way of eating and a way of living that's so freeing. You never feel like you are on a diet and it works," the media guru said in the announcement.

Winfrey and Weight Watchers announced a partnership in October 2015, causing the company's share price to instantly double. Months later, she said she had lost 12 pounds on the diet.

Thursday's announcement didn't say how much Winfrey weighs.

Despite Thursday's gains, the stock has still fallen 51 percent so far this year.

Weight Watchers International 5-Day Chart