Monthly Archives: June 2019

NetJets Threatens to Move Out of Ohio if Tax Breaks Repealed

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Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets is threatening to move its business out of Ohio if proposed tax changes included in Ohio’s state budget become law.

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

Also to be repealed would be a tax exemption for sales of property and services to maintain and repair fractionally owned aircraft.

“NetJets would either have to pass this tax obligation through to its customers which would adversely affect NetJets competitiveness by increasing the price of its products or alternatively, it would have to incur the tax impact itself thereby negatively affecting its profitability,” Bradley Ferrell, Executive Vice President of Net, says. “Neither of these options would be palatable to NetJets long term. Instead, NetJets would be forced to consider other states with more favorable sales tax environments. And there are plenty.”

The tax breaks also benefits NetJets’s Cleveland-based competitor, Flexjets.

© 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.

Johns Manville Picks Kansas for New Climate Pro Production Line

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Johns Manville (JM), a global building and specialty products manufacturer and a Berkshire Hathaway Company, announced today a new Climate Pro® blowing wool production line will be built in McPherson, Kansas.

“Climate Pro insulation is a preferred solution for many contractors and distributors,” said Mary Rhinehart, President and CEO of Johns Manville. “The production expansion at our plant in McPherson will help us meet current and future market demand for blowing wool.”

JM will begin construction on the expansion project later this year, pending various governmental approvals, and anticipates the completion in early 2021. When complete, JM will employ more than 330 people in McPherson.

“Our central location in McPherson gives us easy access to many markets and positions Johns Manville to offer more of this premium product to our customers,” said Bob Wamboldt, President of JM’s Insulation Systems business.

Climate Pro® blow-in fiberglass insulation fills those hard-to-reach cavities and corners while offering more consistent coverage – resulting in a more comfortable, energy-efficient home. It offers a range of R-values and is quick for professionals to install.

“Johns Manville is proud to be part of this community and we are eager to add people to our team,” said Mindy Lanning, Plant Manager in McPherson. “We will be hiring operators, maintenance technicians and warehouse employees. As part of our team, employees enjoy the stability of an established company and a strong family-like environment. We offer competitive hourly rates and training opportunities to learn new roles and develop new skills.”

Local and state officials applauded JM’s decision to expand in McPherson:

“Advanced manufacturing is a staple of McPherson,” Kansas Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “The community houses a significant number of innovative, progressive manufacturing companies pushing the envelope in their industry. It is clear that Johns Manville has chosen the right location for its expansion.”

“This project is an important step forward in the McPherson manufacturing market. Johns Manville is an important corporate citizen in our community,” said McPherson Mayor Tom Brown.

“What an exciting win for McPherson, Kansas! We are grateful to our partners at the Kansas Department of Commerce for coming along side us to get this deal done. We are honored to have JM continue to invest and grow in our community,” said Kasi Morales, Executive Director of the McPherson Industrial Development Company.

© 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 Establishes Adelaide Office

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has expanded its presence in Australia to South Australia, opening a new office in Adelaide and naming Monica Holland as Underwriting Manager.

“We are pleased to expand our team and geographic reach with our new Adelaide office, which will provide our suite of specialty products to customers and brokers. Monica has extensive experience in the South Australia insurance industry, and we are pleased to have her representing BHSI. Monica’s local expertise will allow us to partner more effectively with our brokers and customers in South Australia.” said Mark Lingafelter, President, Australasia, BHSI.

As Underwriting Manager for South Australia, Monica will work closely with BHSI’s team in Melbourne to deliver the company’s full range of product offerings. This includes property, liability, executive & professional lines, marine, accident & health and healthcare insurance solutions. She will also serve as Casualty Manager for South Australia.

Monica brings nearly 25 years of diverse industry experience to BHSI. She has most recently served as State Manager and Distribution Manager for a global insurer. Monica holds a University Certificate of Management, Business Management, from Deakin University and is a Senior Associate, Insurance, at ANZIIF.

© 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.

China’s BYD One of Toyota’s New Strategic Partners

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Chinese new energy company BYD will be one of Toyota’s strategic partners that also includes partnerships with Chinese battery manufacturer CATL, Toshiba, and Japanese battery manufacturer GS Yuasa.

Details of the strategic partnerships have yet to be released, but comes as Toyota is looking to increase its supply of batteries in order to produce 5.5 million electrified vehicles a year by 2025.

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.

© 2018 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

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Opens Office in Paris

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI), in coordination with its affiliate, has received its insurance license in France, established a new office in Paris, and appointed François-Xavier d’Huart as Country Manager.

“We are pleased to continue our strategic expansion in Europe, with our new office in France and François-Xavier leading our efforts to bring BHSI’s underwriting and claims acumen, financial strength, and long-term focus to the French market,” said Chris Colahan, President, BHSI in Europe and the UK. “François-Xavier brings extensive experience to BHSI, and I am so pleased to have him at the helm as we build our product line and team in Paris.”

Beginning immediately, BHSI is underwriting property, casualty, and executive & professional lines in France. The company expects to launch several other products in France in the months ahead.

François-Xavier comes to BHSI with 15 years of industry experience. He was most recently Head of Client and Broker Management for France at AXA XL (previously XL Catlin). Before that he was Chief Executive Officer, Office Lyonnais d’Assurances and Interassur, at SATEC, and Head of Marine Cargo & Hull for Asia at AXA Asia.

François-Xavier holds a master’s degree in Engineering from SUPELEC and a master’s degree in Economics and Management from the IFP School. He received his actuarial degree from Centre d’Etudes Actuarielles.

BHSI’s Paris office is located at 88 & 92 Avenue Charles de Gaulle, 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine.

© 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 Receives Top Digital Award from KEMET

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Mouser Electronics, Inc. has received the Digital Marketing Partner of the Year award from KEMET for the second consecutive year.

The major award — presented last year for the first time — recognizes Mouser’s global distribution capabilities and digital marketing expertise.

The Digital Marketing Partner of the Year FY19 award acknowledges Mouser’s superior performance in a variety of areas, including e-marketing results, new product introductions, customer count growth and overall process excellence.

“This award recognizes the exceptional work Mouser Electronics has done for KEMET, and we proudly recognize them for the second year in a row,” said Johnny Boan, KEMET Vice President, Global Distribution. “This year, KEMET celebrates 100 years and Mouser has been an essential partner in our story, helping to build our brand and bring our products to their wide customer base. Mouser’s committed partnership ensured our mutual success in 2019.”

“Mouser is honored to be recognized with this important award,” said Tom Busher, Vice President of Supplier Management. “Our customers expect the latest technologies and components with superlative service; together with KEMET we strive to exceed these expectations.”

© 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 Constructing Gigafactory in Guangzhou

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Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD is expanding its battery manufacturing capacity for a wide variety of applications.

The gigafactory, which will be located in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, will engage in the research and development, production and manufacturing of lithium polymer batteries for electric devices such as mobile phones, laptops and computers.

BYD estimates making a total investment of 4 billion yuan ($57.9 million U.S), and will realize an annual output of 13 billion yuan when it begins operation in 2020.

BYD also began construction of a gigafactory for vehicles in southwest China’s Chongqing in February.

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.

BYD #1 in China with Hot EV Crossover Vehicle

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While Tesla has emphasized the sedan segment of the EV passenger car market with its Model 3, Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD is racking up huge sales in the China market with its new crossover vehicle, the BYD Yuan EV.

A stylish small crossover vehicle, the Yuan EV had 6,428 deliveries in April, making it number one in EV vehicles sold in China.

The company also had strong sales for its BYD e5, which ranked fourth with 4,602 units, and the BYD PHEV Tang, which was seventh with 3,833 moved.

Tesla’s lone vehicle on the list, the Model 3, just missed the top ten, with an estimated 3,000 units, which would place it in eleventh place.

Making a strong run at BYD’s first place spot is fellow Chinese carmaker Geely, which is headquartered in the city of Hangzhou. The Geely Emgrand EV was in the second spot 5,225 units sold in April.

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.

Mouser Electronics Named e-Commerce Distributor of the Year by Bourns

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Mouser Electronics, Inc., a global distributor of semiconductors and electronic components, has been named the 2018 e-Commerce Distributor of the Year by Bourns, Inc.

The global award was presented to Mouser executives at the recent 2019 EDS Leadership Summit in Las Vegas. This marks the third time that Mouser has received this top award.

Mouser, a leading global distributor of semiconductors and electronic components, received the prestigious award for helping Bourns achieve exceptional sales growth, as well as for Mouser’s best-in-class marketing activities and field engagement.

“The sales growth and heightened brand awareness achieved from Mouser’s groundbreaking internet marketing, ongoing development of useful web tools, and as an industry leader in New Product Introductions (NPIs) last year clearly earned them the Bourns e-Commerce Distributor of the Year award for 2018,” said Kelly Vogt, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Bourns, Inc. “Bourns highly values our long-standing relationship with Mouser. It is an honor to acknowledge their inventive e-commerce programs that have led to our mutual success.”

Andy Kerr, Mouser Vice President of Supplier Management, commented, “Mouser is honored to receive the top e-commerce award from the team at Bourns. We greatly value our partnership and will continue to fulfill these high standards by introducing the newest Bourns products, expanding our customer base, and growing our business globally together.”

Mouser is an authorized distributor for Bourns and continues to be a leading partner in offering Bourns’ newest products. Mouser stocks an impressive array of Bourns circuit protectors, sensors, controls, and resistive components. Bourns is known for their innovative development of new technologies and the ability to consistently expand manufacturing capabilities to meet their customers’ changing global needs.

Mouser has received multiple top awards in recent years from Bourns, including e-Commerce Distributor of the Year award for 2016, 2014 and 2012 top performance, as well as 2016 Distributor of the Year (Catalog Partner) in EMEA, 2012 European Distributor of the Year POS Growth Award and the 2012 Asia Distributor of the Year POS Growth Award.

© 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.

Lawsuit Against Precision Castparts Could Become a Class-Action Suit

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Since 2016, Berkshire Hathaway’s Precision Castparts, a manufacturer of investment castings, forged components, and airfoil castings for use in the aerospace, industrial gas turbine, and defense industries, has been facing a lawsuit over pollution from its South Portland, Oregon, operations.

The plaintiffs, Kelley Foster, Juan Prat-Sanchez, Kirk Gayton, and Debra Taevs, allege in their suit that the “South Portland Operations release significant amounts of pollution, including arsenic and nickel, into the surrounding neighborhood. PCC’s emissions have created a hotspot of pollution in South Portland.”

The plaintiffs all live in South Portland, and cite a 2013 study by the United States Forest Service that collected tree moss as a bioindicator of air pollution.

The suit maintains that a map created by the Forest Service “demonstrate that there is a significant air pollution hotspot surrounding PCC’s South Portland Operations, where nickel, arsenic, and other hazardous air pollutants appear in high concentrations.”

As of October 2016, the lawsuit has been consolidated with a similar lawsuit by plaintiffs Brian Resendez, Rodica Alina Resendez, Michelle Francisco and Matthew Talbot that is seeking $10 million in damages.

A motion before the Multnomah County Circuit Court is seeking to certify the litigation against Precision Castparts as a class-action lawsuit, which would potentially add the residents of roughly 5,000 residential properties to the suit.

A jury trial has been tentatively scheduled for mid-July 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.