- A vote of confidence from one of Warren Buffett’s lieutenants sent Dillard’s stock up as much as 46% on Monday.
- Ted Weschler, an investment manager at Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, disclosed an almost 6% stake in the ailing department-store chain on Friday.
- The value of Weschler’s 1.08 million shares soared to as high as $66 million on Monday.
- Dillard’s net sales tumbled 41% year-on-year in the six months to August 1, fueling a $171 million net loss.
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Dillard’s stock surged as much as 46% on Monday after Warren Buffett’s deputy disclosed a nearly 6% stake in the ailing department-store chain.
Ted Weschler, who helps Buffett manage Berkshire Hathaway’s investment portfolio along with Todd Combs, revealed the personal holding in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing released on Friday. The value of Weschler’s 1.08 million Dillard’s shares jumped to as much as $66 million on Monday.
Dillard’s stock had dropped about 40% this year, reflecting the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating effect on physical retailers, as well as investors’ growing concerns about department stores in an increasingly online world.
The Monday rally added as much as $430 million to the retailer’s market capitalization, boosting it to about $1.4 billion at the peak.
The company’s net sales tumbled 41% year-on-year, to $1.7 billion, in the six months to August 1, swinging it to a $171 million net loss compared with $38 million in net income in the first half of 2019. Two of its peers, JCPenney and Neiman Marcus, have filed for bankruptcy this year.
Dillard’s was also removed from the S&P 400 in June, as the S&P Dow Jones Indices officials in charge of the index said it was “no longer representative of the midcap market space.”
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Weschler joined Berkshire in 2012, after shelling out more than $5 million across two charity auctions in 2010 and 2011, earning him the right to privately dine with Buffett twice. He previously ran Peninsula Capital Advisors, a hedge fund in Virginia.
The investment manager channeled Buffett in his recent Scripps deal. He agreed that Berkshire would give $600 million to help finance the broadcasting group’s takeover of ION Media in exchange for preferred shares and stock warrants — emulating Buffett’s investments in Goldman Sachs and General Electric during the 2008 financial crisis.
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