News Column

Time Warner hit by fallout from aborted Fox bid

August 7, 2014

OLIVER SMITH



NOT EVEN higher-than-expected profits and a boosted share buyback could prevent Time Warner's stock crashing 12.85 per cent yesterday, in the wake of Rupert Murdoch'sTwenty First Century Fox withdrawing its $80bn (47.5bn) bid for the company.


US media conglomerate Time Warner reported soaring profit of $843m, beating market expectations, during the second quarter to 30 June and increased its share buyback programme in June by an additional $5bn on top of the $4bn it had already allocated.


Revenue from Time Warner'sHome Box Office (HBO) unit jumped 17 per cent to $1.42bn for the second quarter, helped by the popularity of Game of Thrones which is now the most watched series in HBO's history averaging 19m viewers in the US alone. Total revenues grew two per cent to $6.79bn during the period.


Despite the positive results, Murdoch's pulled offer means that Time Warner will have to defend its position as a solo company and convince shareholders its stock won't suffer as a result.


Time Warner's shares fell to $74.24 in New York yesterday.


Meanwhile, 21st Century Fox yesterday reported a 16.8 per cent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by the box office success of films such as "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and growth in its cable network business.


The company, separated from News Corp last June, said revenue rose to $8.42bn in the fourth quarter ended 30 June, from $7.2 billion a year earlier.


Time Warner Inc$74.246 Aug 86 84 82 80 78 76 5 Aug 6Aug 31Jul 1Aug 4 Aug


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Source: City A.M. (UK)


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