UPDATE 1-Och-Ziff fourth-quarter results top estimates

Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:50am EST

* Distributable earnings rise to $0.74 / share

* Estimates were 66 cents/shr - Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S

By Emily Chasan

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Hedge fund company Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (OZM.N) said quarterly earnings rose almost 8 percent, topping expectations, as a rise in its assets under management boosted management fees.

The company said distributable earnings per share for the fourth quarter were $303.1 million or 74 cents per Class A share, compared to $281.4 million, or 69 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected the company to earn 66 cents per share in the quarter.

The New York-based firm reported a net loss of $22.8 million, or 24 cents per share, largely related to expenses from its 2007 initial public offering.

The firm had said that its flagship OZ Master Fund returned 8.5 percent in 2010, while its Europe Master Fund rose 7.5 percent, its Asia Master Fund climbed 9.9 percent and its Global Special Investments Master Fund was up 13.4 percent. By comparison, hedge funds on average returned about 4.5 percent in 2010 according to Hedge Fund Research's HFRX index.

Och-Ziff said earlier this month its unaudited assets under management were $28.4 billion, as of Feb. 1, compared to $27.6 billion as of Jan. 1. (Reporting by Emily Chasan, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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