Och-Ziff All Smiles In Spite Of $775M Loss

Feb 26 2008 | 12:26pm ET

Och-Ziff Capital Management today reported a big fourth-quarter loss, but an exceedingly bright outlook.

In its first earnings report since going public in November, the New York hedge fund giant recorded a $774.6 million loss, compared to a $453 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2006. It blamed the loss on $3.3 billion in reorganization costs associated with its initial public offering.

With the exception of that big red blot, Och-Ziff’s debut earnings report had nothing but good news. It reported distributable earnings of $1.27 per share, well above analysts’ expectations. Assets under management soared 48% to $33.4 billion, driving management fees up 53% to $135.1 million.

“We believe we can accelerate our growth through the continued expansion of our private investment platforms and private portfolios, which we expect to become meaningful contributors to our earnings power over time,” CEO Daniel Och said.

The firm’s flagship hedge fund, OZ Master, added 28%, thanks both to strong performance and big inflows, and now manages some $19.8 billion.

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