What happened

Shares of jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) slumped on Thursday after news broke that Qatar's sovereign wealth fund sold a large block of shares. The shares were reportedly priced near $94.40 per share, a bit below the closing price on Wednesday. The stock closed on Thursday down about 4.8%.

So what

According to a statement provided to Bloomberg by Morgan Stanley, the bank that executed the trade, the Qatar Investment Authority, sold 4.4 million shares of Tiffany & Co. for approximately $417 million. A 9.5% stake in Tiffany & Co. is still held through subsidiary Qatar Holdings USA LLC, but the sale represents a significant downsizing.

A view of the front of Tiffany & Co.'s flagship store in New York.

Image source: Tiffany & Co.

This sale comes after shares of Tiffany & Co. have rebounded strongly since mid-2016. The stock is up about 50% since the beginning of July 2016, even after Thursday's decline, although it's still down about 15% since the beginning of 2015.

Tiffany & Co. hasn't been immune from the difficult retail environment. During the second quarter, comparable sales slumped 2% year over year, while total sales rose 3% due to a rise in wholesale sales. Earnings per share rose 9%, driven by the increase in sales.

Now what

Given the ongoing diplomatic crisis in Qatar, the sovereign wealth fund selling off shares of Tiffany & Co. probably isn't a reflection on the company itself. Reports of potential asset sales were reported back in June. If you thought Tiffany & Co. was a good investment yesterday, there's no real reason to change your mind.

Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.