Media Stocks Stabilize After Comcast’s Move to Outbid Disney for 21st Century Fox

UPDATED: Comcast’s announcement of a $65 billion bid for 21st Century Fox entertainment assets — 19% higher than Disney’s prior offer — stirred up the companies’ stocks anew in after-hours trading Wednesday before they settled down.

Initially, Fox shares rose as much as 1.6% after the market closed, after already closing up 7.7% in regular trading Wednesday as investors anticipated a Comcast-Disney bidding war. Comcast stock dropped as much as 1.6% immediately after the announcement was released just after 4 p.m. ET, and Disney was down as much as 0.4%.

By 4:45 p.m. ET, Comcast was flat in after-hours trading, 21st Century Fox shares were up 0.2% and Disney had nosed up 0.08%. An hour later, as of 5:45 p.m. ET — after 21CF confirmed receipt of the offer and said it was evaluating the bid — Comcast was up 0.6%, Fox was roughly flat (down 0.05%) and Disney was down 0.3%.

The Comcast all-cash bid for 20th Century Fox and other Fox businesses wasn’t a surprise: Comcast last month announced it was ready to outbid Disney’s stock deal with a “superior offer.” It’s the first big M&A domino to fall after a judge’s ruling Tuesday allowed AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner to proceed without any conditions attached.

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