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 natural gas company ONEOK (NYSE:OKE) jumped 21% today after announcing a spin-off.

So what: The company is spinning off its natural gas distribution business in an effort to build more focused companies. Investors will maintain their shares in ONEOK and get a stake in the new company through a stock dividend. The exact dividend distribution has not yet been determined and management expects to close the deal in the first quarter of next year.  

Now what: The move is expected to allow ONEOK to pay a higher payout after the deal is complete, which may attract dividend investors. This is essentially a move to unlock value in the stock, which has traded to a discount to rivals. This doesn't change the fundamental investment thesis but, for investors looking into either the pipeline or the utility side, it gives the option for a focused investment instead of the diverse company ONEOK had become.  

Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends ONEOK. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.