Och-Ziff Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of publicly held hedge-fund manager Och-Ziff Capital (NYS: OZM) were taking a dive today, losing as much as 10% in intraday trading after the company announced a sale of new stock.

So what: Bottom line: Investors don't like it when a company sells new shares. The reason is simple -- when that happens, each previous investor ends up owning a smaller piece of the company and therefore gets a smaller chunk of the profits.

In a press release yesterday, Och-Ziff announced that it will sell $250 million in new shares, in large part to help pay down some of its current debt. The share sale shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise to investors, as the company had previously filed a shelf registration to sell shares.

Now what: While share dilution is rarely something to cheer, if a company sells shares and uses the new capital wisely, it can end up benefiting shareholders over the long term. As a hedge fund, the hope would be that the folks at Och-Ziff are savvy capital allocators, so the news may not be quite as awful as the stock's dive suggests.

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