Time Warner Investors Forget Cord-Cutting, Follow Merger Rumors

  • Speculation on investor pressure for a deal drives share gains
  • Time Warner climbs 10% in 2016 even as broader market declines

Wall Street may have found a balm to soothe its cord-cutting fears: merger rumors.

Time Warner Inc. is the best-performing stock in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index so far this year, largely because of speculation that investors may be pushing for a sale of the company, which owns HBO, CNN and Warner Bros.

The New York Post reported Tuesday that Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes “hinted he would entertain a sale” during a closed-door meeting with investors on Monday.

Keith Cocozza, a Time Warner spokesman, declined to comment.

Time Warner shares rose 2.7 percent to $71.71 at 3:36 p.m. in New York. They have climbed 10 percent since the start of the year, while the S&P 500 is down 5.2 percent.

The stock’s rise comes after a challenging year for Time Warner shareholders. Its shares sunk 24 percent in 2015 as investors worried that the rising number of people canceling pay-TV service could hurt the media industry’s long-term prospects.

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