- Warren Buffett's deputy has quadrupled his money on Dillard's in nine months.
- Ted Weschler's personal stake has surged from under $40 million to about $170 million today.
- Dillard's stock is popular among retail investors, and its financials have rebounded.
Warren Buffett made his fortune by investing in unloved, undervalued businesses. Ted Weschler, one of the Berkshire Hathaway CEO's deputies, appears to share that talent - he's quadrupled his money on Dillard's over the past nine months.
Weschler disclosed a personal stake of 6% in Dillard's last October, when the department store's stock price was below $40. Dillard's shares now trade around $160, meaning Weschler's 1.1 million shares have surged in value by more than 300% to north of $170 million.
Dillard's stock has rocketed to record highs this year for several reasons. Retail investors have targeted it and other heavily shorted stocks as they look to squeeze hedge funds and score a quick profit.
The retailer also grew its net sales by 69% year-on-year in the three months to May 1, swinging it from a net loss of $162 million to a net income of $158 million. Moreover, it finished reopening all of its stores at the start of this month, paving the way for further gains.
Weschler helps Buffett and another deputy, Todd Combs, manage Berkshire's roughly $270 billion stock portfolio. The former hedge fund manager secured a job at Berkshire in 2012, after he shelled out more than $5 million in total to win Buffett's annual charity-lunch auction in both 2010 and 2011.
It's not always clear who's behind a particular Berkshire investment, but Weschler took responsibility for the $300 million deal with EW Scripps last year. Clearly, his Berkshire duties haven't stopped him from pouncing when smaller opportunities such as Dillard's arise.