TIME Warner would buy back $5bn of its shares, the media group reported yesterday as it posted second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates a day after Rupert Murdoch withdrew his $75 billion (R801.3bn) takeover bid. Earnings, excluding one-time items and the Time magazine unit, were 98c a share. Analysts had predicted 84c on average. Sales increased to $6.79bn, missing the average estimate of $6.88bn. The results help support chief executive Jeff Bewkes’s argument that Time Warner’s own growth plan will create more value than any proposal Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox “is in a position to offer”. Bewkes needs to keep proving his stand-alone plan to investors after Fox withdrew its $85-a-share bid for the owner of the HBO and TNT cable channels and the Warner Bros film studio. – Bloomberg