* Bewkes says company already at scale
* Time Warner posts higher-than-expected profit, sets
* Revenue rose 3 percent to $6.79 billion
* Shares close down 13 percent
(Adds remarks from Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch and COO Chase
By Jennifer Saba and Aurindom Mukherjee
Aug 6 Time Warner Inc will not have to
worry about any overtures from Twenty-First Century Fox
for the foreseeable future.
"As you know, yesterday, we walked away. This is our
resolute decision," Fox Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Rupert Murdoch said in a rare appearance on the company's
conference call late Wednesday.
Murdoch, conceding defeat, was further explaining the
company's rational for pulling its bid on Tuesday.
Fox Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey backed up Murdoch
and went further: "Let me be clear, we are done ... We have no
plans to pursue any other third party content company as an
alternative to Time Warner."
Earlier, Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes, speaking
on the company's own earnings conference call, also weighed in
on the scuttled Fox bid, which the CNN and Warner Brothers
studios owner had aggressively resisted, as well as the merits
of megadeals in general.
"I would just encourage everybody to look at all sides of
the issue when contemplating the benefits and risks of putting
very large companies together," Bewkes said to an analyst.
Indeed, since taking the helm of the media conglomerate in
2008, Bewkes has trimmed down Time Warner - shedding properties
like AOL, Time Warner Cable, and Time Inc
- and making it an attractive target for
Bewkes said he feels that Time Warner is already at scale,
especially for its studio business Warner Bros which he
described as the "biggest producer of content in the world" to
its collection of cable networks which also dominate.
"We are not lacking something we need," he said.
Time Warner needs to show it can go it alone after fiercely
refusing to engage in talks with Fox, which offered to buy it in
a deal for about $80 billion and would have created one of the
world's largest media companies with two major studios, a bevy
of cable networks and pay-TV channel HBO.
Time Warner reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit
on Wednesday and boosted its share buyback program by an
additional $5 billion.
"When faced with a hostile takeover bid, Time Warner did
exactly what they should have done. They crushed the numbers,"
wrote Michael Nathanson with MoffettNathanson Research in a note
The strong results and shareholder-friendly measure could
not prevent Time Warner's stock from sliding. The shares closed
down 13 percent at $74.24 - well below the $85 per share offer
from Rupert Murdoch's Fox.
Time Warner said it will host an investor's day in the fall
to unveil more details about its long-term strategy.
'GAME OF THRONES'
Revenue from Time Warner's Home Box Office unit jumped 17
percent to $1.42 billion for the second quarter, helped by the
popularity of "Game of Thrones" and other HBO shows.
The company said the fourth season of "Game of Thrones,"
which ended in June, was the most watched season of an original
series in HBO's history. The Emmy award-winning fantasy epic had
an average gross audience of 19 million viewers.
The company's Turner Networks unit - home to CNN, TBS and
TNT - also posted an increase in revenue on higher subscription
and advertisement sales.
Net income from continuing operations attributable to Time
Warner common shareholders rose to $843 million, or 94 cents per
share, for the three months ended June 30, from $698 million, or
73 cents per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned 98 cents per share.
Revenue increased to $6.79 billion from $6.61 billion.
Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of 84 cents a
share on revenue of $6.87 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
The company forecast full-year 2014 adjusted profit growth
in the low teens in terms of percentage, off a base of 2013
adjusted earnings of $3.51 per share.
Time Warner said in April it expected its full-year adjusted
profit to grow in the low- to mid-teen percentage range, or
better, for at least the next three or four years.
(Reporting by Aurindom Mukherjee and Lehar Maan in Bangalore;
Editing by Joyjeet Das, Robin Paxton, Bernadette Baum and