Monthly Archives: May 2019

Realty Seven Merges with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England, New York and Westchester Properties has merged with Realty Seven, a residential real estate firm based in Wilton, Connecticut.

“Realty Seven is one of the most highly regarded independent brokerages in Fairfield County,” Candace Adams, CEO and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England, New York and Westchester Properties, said. “The team’s rich local market expertise, combined with their proven track record of success, makes them a great addition to our growing network of sales professionals.”

A family-owned business founded in 1978, Realty Seven is one of the area’s most respected real estate firms, providing excellent client services and a dedication to being a philanthropic partner in the community. This transaction brings 22 agents, who all live, work, raise their families and volunteer in the local community, to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties.

“Since our inception, Realty Seven has been dedicated to providing the highest service and integrity to our clients, guiding them through all of the stages of selling a home. After meeting Candace and speaking with the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ team, many of which I’ve known for years, I knew this was the best opportunity to provide our team the resources and support to take client services to the next level,” says Peg Koellmer, owner/broker of Realty Seven.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

BYD’s Pure-Electric Refuse Trucks Come to Southern California

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While Tesla focuses on passenger cars, Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD continues to expand its presence in the United States market through its buses and specialty vehicles.

The company has delivered its first BYD 8R Class 8 Automated Side Loader (ASL) all-electric collection truck to Waste Resources to serve its customers in the City of Carson, California.

The first all-electric refuse truck in residential collection operation in Southern California, it features BYD’s propriety electric-propulsion system designed specifically for refuse collection.

The refuse truck’s cab, chassis, and propulsion system were manufactured by BYD, with an ASL body made by Amrep, a leading manufacturer of waste handling equipment in North America.

Trash hauler Waste Resources currently runs 13 refuse trucks in the city of Carson, and if BYD’s refuse truck meets its service and environmental objectives, the company hopes to convert its entire fleet to BYD all-electric trucks.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value almost ten-fold, and is now worth roughly $1.96 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

TTI Named Molex 2018 Global Distributor of the Year

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Molex has announced that Berkshire Hathaway’s TTI is the recipient of its 2018 Global Distributor of the Year Award. This award recognizes one outstanding global channel partner each year for advancing Molex technology solutions through demonstrated growth in worldwide sales coupled with global financial, operational and executive management excellence. TTI grew 7% faster than the overall channel in 2018.

TTI serves an integral role in continuing the growth of Molex innovative technical solutions into the Global market. We are honored to recognize their significant contribution to our distribution channel,” said Fred Bell, vice president global distribution, Molex. “TTI has demonstrated a superior commitment to significant contributions for both companies.”

Molex Global Distributor of the Year Award recipients are evaluated and selected based on criteria in multiple categories, including year-over-year sales growth, inventory management, new product support, sales engagement, and accessibility to the management team at all levels of the organization. A leading global distributor of passive, connector, electromechanical and discrete components, TTI outpaced its peers to increase market share for Molex worldwide.

“TTI greatly appreciates our global partnership with Molex and the recognition that this award brings,” said Mike Morton, Chief Operating Officer, TTI, Inc., “We are honored to be recognized for bringing best-in-class Molex solutions to customers worldwide.”

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Names John Roe as Head of Casualty Construction, North America

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has named John Roe as Head of Casualty Construction, North America, responsible for the company’s construction professional, homebuilders and construction casualty product lines and loss control.

“John has been integral to the build out of our casualty construction platform, and we are pleased to have him leading our efforts to bring BHSI’s financial strength, long term focus, and underwriting and service excellence to this sector,” said Meredith Bullock, Head of Casualty, North America, BHSI.

John, who spent the last six years as Head of Construction, Eastern Region, at BHSI, is taking the reins of Casualty Construction from Bill Sullivan. Bill is retiring after a distinguished 37-year career in the insurance industry, including most recently six years leading BHSI’s efforts in the North American casualty construction marketplace.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Intero Selected for Membership in Leading Companies of the World and Luxury Portfolio International

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Intero, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire’s HomeServices of America, Inc., has been awarded exclusive affiliate status for Silicon Valley in Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and its luxury program, Luxury Portfolio International®.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a global real estate community comprised of 565 of the best-known local and regional real estate firms, with 4,300 offices and 130,000 sales associates in over 70 countries. Collectively, these firms represent 1.1 million transactions annually.

Intero’s dominant #1 market share in Santa Clara County will be further enhanced by our exclusive affiliation with Leading RE. In addition to the business collaboration benefits, Leading RE will also extend and enhance Intero’s reach in the luxury market through Luxury Portfolio International.

Affiliates of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® are widely recognized as the premier providers of quality residential real estate and relocation services. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is the largest network of residential real estate firms, and network affiliates are widely recognized as the premier providers of quality residential real estate and relocation services. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® also excels in the upper-end market with its Luxury Portfolio International® marketing program.

Leading RE exists to make its members better by connecting them to opportunities and people around the globe, supporting them with an industry-leading international referral network, award-winning professional development programs and events, professional marketing resources and more.

Luxury Portfolio International® is the luxury face of Leading RE, with a unified collection of the world’s most respected experts in luxury real estate. Luxury Portfolio marketed over 50,000 of the world’s most remarkable homes last year and attracted over three million high-net-worth visitors by presenting a gallery of the finest luxury properties and brokerages worldwide.

Luxury Portfolio members offer extensive global reach for high-end properties through the award-winning website, LuxuryPortfolio.com; the Luxury Portfolio International magazine; targeted advertising reaching an affluent audience worldwide and professional marketing materials.

“We are delighted to have Intero as part of our distinguished network of premier brokerages. The company has an impeccable reputation in the Bay Area, and we are committed to helping the firm achieve even greater success,” said Paul Boomsma, president and CEO of Leading RE. “As a member of Leading RE and Luxury Portfolio, Intero aligns with other market-leading firms and expands its local expertise to deliver powerful marketing worldwide.”

“We are thrilled to be part of the Leading RE and Luxury Portfolio family,” said Brian Crane, Chief Executive Officer of Intero. “Real estate brokerage is a local business; aligning ourselves with the premier luxury real estate network in the world helps Intero agents to provide the best tools and results for our clients in the luxury market throughout Silicon Valley.”

© 2019 David Mazor


Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Mouser Electronics is Littelfuse’s Distributor of the Year

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Mouser Electronics, Inc., the industry’s leading New Product Introduction (NPI) distributor with the widest selection of semiconductors and electronic components, has been recognized as the 2018 High Service Distributor of the Year by Littelfuse, a global leader in circuit protection.

Littelfuse presented Mouser with the global award at the 2019 Electronic Distribution Show (EDS) in Las Vegas. This is the eighth year that Mouser has been honored with the top award.

“Mouser Electronics has been a valuable channel partner for Littelfuse and we are proud to honor them with this award,” said Dave Heinzmann, Littelfuse President and Chief Executive Officer. “At Littelfuse, we look to partner with organizations that share our core values and Mouser’s commitment to worldwide customer support excellence and the value they place on innovation align with Littelfuse. Mouser has been a key channel partner, helping drive profitable sales growth as we provide innovative solutions for a growing customer base.”

“Mouser is honored by this important recognition from Littelfuse,” said Glenn Smith, Mouser’s President and CEO. “Our partnership with Littelfuse is aimed at meeting customer needs through best-in-class service, innovation and collaboration. We look forward to deepening this outstanding partnership.”

Littelfuse selects the winner of the High Service Distributor of the Year award based on a variety of distributor performance metrics, including overall sales growth, focus product sales, growth in the number of customers served, and the number and quality of creative marketing campaigns that reach customers. Mouser previously won the Littelfuse High Service/Catalog Distributor of the Year award in 2008 through 2011 and in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Lubrizol Aims to Make Footwear 100% Recyclable

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According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Americans alone throw away at least 300 million pairs of shoes each year. These shoes end up in landfills, where they can take 30 to 40 years to decompose. This figure has inspired Lubrizol Engineered Polymers to engineer an innovative portfolio of advanced polymers to provide footwear producers the opportunity to create a nearly 100% TPU shoe that is recyclable* without compromising performance.

Justin Park, Lubrizol’s global market segment manager for performance footwear says, “The advantage of a 100% TPU shoe is that at the end of the shoe’s wear cycle it can be re-grinded and then reformed into a new shoe, therefore extending the life of the product and material.”

Lubrizol Engineered Polymers advanced TPU portfolio for footwear applications gives footwear producers the opportunity to collaborate with one solution provider for their needs. Another benefit to footwear producers of using Lubrizol Engineered Polymers TPU as the prime material for shoe production is having the ability to reuse the scraps, resulting in less unused material during the manufacturing process.

The key technologies in Lubrizol’s Engineered Polymers TPU portfolio for performance footwear that can be engineered to form almost every component of a shoe include Esdex(TM) TPU for upper yarns to keep shoe construction smart and lightweight, BounCell-X(TM) a low density, plasticizer-free, recyclable*, thermoplastic foam for cushioning, Estane(R) TRX TPU as a functional alternative to rubber outsoles, Pearlthane(TM) ECO TPU a bio-based** renewable-sourced material, Estane(R) 3D TPU a soft, flexible material that offers design freedom for 3D printed components, and Pearlbond(TM) TPU for adhesives assembly that provides flexibility to join a large variety of substrates together.

Lubrizol Engineered Polymers has released a video to help support and promote its extensive TPU footwear portfolio for performance footwear applications, One Shoe.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

BNSF Sees 2% Rise in Q1 Operating Income

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Despite difficult weather conditions, BNSF Railway saw a 2 percent rise in operating income in the first quarter of 2019.

First quarter 2019 operating income was $1.8 billion, an increase of $32 million (2%), compared to the same period in 2018. Total revenues for the first quarter of 2019 were up 2%, compared with the same period in 2018 primarily due to an 8% increase in average revenue per car/unit, as a result of increased rates per car/unit, a favorable outcome of an arbitration hearing, and higher fuel surcharges.

This increase was partially offset by a 5% decrease in unit volume due to severe winter weather and flooding on parts of the network, as well as the following individual business unit drivers:

• Consumer Products volumes decreased 6% for the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018 primarily due to lower intermodal volumes, which were driven by lower international intermodal market share, increased truck competition, and the aforementioned challenging weather conditions.

• Industrial Products volumes increased 1% for the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018 primarily due to strength in the energy and industrial sectors, which drove higher demand for petroleum products, liquefied petroleum gas, and aggregates. This increase was partially offset by lower sand and taconite volumes as well as the aforementioned challenging weather conditions.

• Agricultural Products volumes decreased 7% for the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018 primarily due to the aforementioned challenging weather conditions, partially offset by higher soybean exports.

• Coal volumes decreased 10% for the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018 primarily due to the aforementioned challenging weather conditions, partially offset by higher market share.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

NetJets May Lose Ohio Tax Breaks

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Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets will lose tax breaks for fractionally owned aircraft if a provision in the Ohio’s state budget proposal becomes law.

The tax breaks also benefits its Cleveland-based competitor, Flexjets.

The repeal proposal, which was included in the latest House budget package, removes the cap on sales taxes of fractionally owned aircraft that was enacted in 2003 that is currently set at $800.

Also repealed would be a tax exemption for sales of property and services to maintain and repair fractionally owned aircraft.

According to the State Department of Taxation’s Tax Expenditure Report, the repeal of the $800 sales tax cap would bring in an additional $14 million a year.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Vestas secures 459 MW order from Berkshire’s PacifiCorp

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Vestas has received an order for 459 MW of V136-4.2 MW turbines operating in 4.3 MW power optimised mode from PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, for two wind projects, TB Flats I and II, located in Wyoming. Including previously purchased V110-2.0 MW turbines, the projects will have a combined capacity of 503 MW.

TB Flats I and II are part of PacifiCorp’s Energy Vision 2020 initiative, a USD 3.1 billion investment to expand wind power via repowering existing projects, adding 1,150 MW of new wind resources by the end of 2020, and building a 140-mile transmission line segment in Wyoming to enable wind generation.

As part of Energy Vision 2020, Vestas and PacifiCorp previously partnered on repowering the Marengo and Marengo II wind projects in Washington, upgrading the site’s existing V80-1.8 MW turbines with V100-2.0 MW turbines.

“We’re pleased PacifiCorp has selected our V136-4.2 MW, operating in 4.3 MW power optimised mode for the TB Flats I and II projects,” said Chris Brown, President of Vestas’ sales and service division in the United States and Canada. “With their Energy Vision 2020 initiative and commitment to expanding wind energy, PacifiCorp brings both the environmental and economic benefits of low-cost, competitive, and clean wind energy to their customers and communities.”

The order includes supply and commissioning of the turbines as well as a 12-year AOM 4000 service agreement, designed to ensure optimized performance of the project. Turbine delivery will begin in the second quarter of 2020, with commissioning scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020.

© 2019 David Mazor


Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.