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Split-up talk boosts Time Warner
Shares rise as research reports suggest media company, like Viacom, may explore spinoffs.
March 17, 2005: 6:39 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Shares of Time Warner Inc. rose more than 3 percent Thursday after two research reports suggested the media conglomerate may follow Viacom in exploring a spinoff to boost shareholder value and increase the stock price.

In a report Thursday, Bank of America said Time Warner (up $0.50 to $18.60, Research) may be next to split up and reiterated its "buy" rating on the stock.

In a separate report, Credit Suisse First Boston suggested that "a reverse merger with Adelphia could actually take down Time Warner's direct exposure to cable," which is under pressure from satellite and new telecom competition.

CSFB also said's "ability to acquire significant share of and fully participate and exceed the growth rate of the Internet advertising sector will determine if AOL helps drive TWX growth going forward -- if not it could be an eventual divestiture or restructuring candidate."

On Wednesday, Viacom Inc. (up $0.72 to $36.72, Research) announced that it may be broken into at least two different publicly traded companies, separating its cable and film assets from its broadcast television and radio business as a way to boost the value of its stock.

On Tuesday, Liberty Media Corp. (Research) announced it is spinning off its stakes in Discovery Communications and Ascent Media Group as company chairman John Malone continues to simplify his holdings to boost their market value.

A spokesperson for Time Warner says management has no plans to split up the company into separate units, as Viacom is considering doing.

Besides America Online, some of Time Warner's other businesses include; Warner Bros., Time Warner Cable, New Line Cinema and Castle Rock Entertainment. Time Warner is also the parent company of CNN/Money.  Top of page


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