Time Warner stock pops on talk of AT&T buyout

Shares of media conglomerate Time Warner (TWX) jumped more than 9 percent on Thursday after Bloomberg News reported senior executives at the company have talked about a possible merger with executives at AT&T. 

Time Warner -- the company behind such media franchises as cable channel HBO and “Games of Thrones” and movie studios Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema -- climbed as much as 9.5 percent during the session, and closed up $3.75, or about 4.7 percent, at $82.99.

Shares of telecom AT&T (T) fell 73 cents, or about 1.8 percent, to finish at $38.65.

The discussions were described as an informal means of exploring a relationship between the companies, as opposed to setting the terms of a specific transaction, according to Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources it described as familiar with the talks.

AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson wants to bring additional content and programming to his company, one source told the news agency. 

Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes and his board turned back an offer in 2014 from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox that was valued at more than $75 billion at the time.