Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA) withdrew its bid for Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) without any warning just hours before Time Warner’s earnings report. CEO Jeff Bewkes decided at the beginning of his company’s earnings call today that he would not talk about the withdrawal, but he ended up talking about it anyway.
Time Warner CEO: “look at all sides”
One analyst asked Bewkes about whether there is any pressure to grow the business. True, it’s not a direction about the proposal withdrawal, but it was enough to get an answer to the question all of Wall Street was asking. Reuters reports that Bewkes urged investors to look at the proposed merger from “all sides of the issue when contemplating the benefits and risks of putting very large companies together.”
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Time Warner had been resisting Fox’s advances for some time. Bewkes said he thinks the company is just the right size for Warner Bros., its studio business, and its collection of cable TV networks. He added they aren’t lacking anything they need. The executive said their studio is the world’s largest content producer.
Time Warner beats estimates
If the two companies had merged, they would have created one of the biggest media companies in the world. But Time Warner has shown no signs of wanting to get bigger. The company has slowly been shedding its various businesses, like AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) and Time Inc. The result has been a smaller company that has caught the eye of bigger rivals like Twenty-First Century Fox as a potential acquisition target.
Since Fox withdrew the $80 billion proposal, Time Warner now has to show that it is doing just fine on its own, and the most recent earnings report seems to show that. The company’s profits were higher than expected, and it added $5 billion to its share buyback program.
This fall, Time Warner is planning to hold an investor day to share more details about what management is planning in the long term.