Time Warner shares rose as much as 17% in early trading before settling down. In recent trading, shares of Time Warner were up more than 15% to $82.14 on greater-than-average volume of about 43.02 million. Average volume is 5.54 million.
Twenty-first Century Fox acknowledged publicly that it had made the bid, then said it was not in talks with Time Warner. Twenty-first Century Fox shares were down nearly 5% in earlier trading, falling to $33.50 on volume of 45.47 million. Average volume is 10.92 million.
Other media companies saw their shares rise, a signal that investors are interested in the potential for further consolidation in the sector. Two big deals in the pipeline – one between Comcast and Time Warner Cable and one between AT&T and DirecTV – have given rise to speculation that content companies will seek scale to match that of the cable, satellite and digital companies that distribute their products to the masses.
Among those companies with shares on the rise Wednesday are Discovery Communications, which rose nearly 7% Wednesday; AMC Networks, up nearly 3.5%; CBS Corp., up more than 2%; Scripps Networks Interactive, up 2.67%; and Viacom, up 4.23%.