Time Warner, Other Stocks Hit All-Time Highs on Bid News

UPDATED: News that the conglomerate recently rejected a $80 billion offer from Fox also boosted Disney and Viacom shares to all-time highs and lifted other sector stocks, while Fox's stock dropped.

Time Warner's stock set an all-time high in early Wednesday trading after Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox confirmed it recently made an $80 billion bid for the company.

Fox has earlier confirmed that TW, led by CEO Jeff Bewkes, rejected the bid before TW outlined its reasons for doing so.

The news lifted most sector stocks, with the stocks of Walt Disney and Viacom also hitting new highs.

TW's stock in early Wednesday trading was still up 16.5 percent at $83, an all-time high. That was also close to the $85 per share bid in cash and stock made by Fox, according to The New York Times.

Fox's stock, meanwhile, was down 1.8 percent at $33.54 in early trading. The stocks of suitors often take a hit on deal talk.

“21st Century Fox can confirm that we made a formal proposal to Time Warner last month to combine the two companies," Fox said before the market opened. "The Time Warner Board of Directors declined to pursue our proposal. We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner."

The unsolicited takeover approach also boosted other entertainment stocks as the Dow Jones Industrial Average stock index hit a record amid a range of deal news. Some analysts have recently suggested that the consolidation of pay TV companies, such as Comcast's planned takeover of Time Warner Cable and AT&T's proposed acquisition of DirecTV, could lead to deals among content companies.

Among sector stocks, AMC Networks shares were up 4.1 percent at $63.40, Viacom's stock jumped 5.1 percent to $88.90 after hitting an all-time high of $89.76 earlier, Discovery Communications shares rose 4.4 percent to $82, Scripps Networks Interactive stock was up 2.5 percent at $82.91, and CBS Corp. shares climbed 1.7 percent to $60.52. 

Lionsgate was up 5.5 percent at $31.30.

The stock of the Walt Disney Co. was also slightly higher after early in the session hitting an all-time high of $87.63. 

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai