Category Archives: Stock Portfolio

BYD to Build Electric Bus Assembly Plant in France

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD Company is continuing to build out its global electric bus manufacturing capability. The Chinese battery and vehicle maker has announced it will invest €10 million in a new assembly plant in the town of Allonne, near Beauvais, in Hauts-de-France.

The project will create roughly 100 jobs in its initial phase. The production facility will occupy 32,000 sq m of a parcel totaling nearly 80,000 sq m, and will assemble up to 200 vehicles a year—single-deck buses and coaches—in its first phase.

Other vehicles may be added as BYD expands its product line.

Production is scheduled to get underway in the first half of 2018. In addition to bus assembly, BYD plans an after-sales unit for maintenance and repairs, as well as a logistics center for spare parts. In the longer term, a test center for batteries could be added.

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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 Unveils Largest E-taxi Fleet in South East Asia

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China’s BYD Company has introduced 100 electric taxis in Singapore, forming the biggest e-taxi fleet in South East Asia. The commercial introduction of the pure electric e6 cars also represents the largest investment of its kind by a Chinese electric car manufacturer.

This latest injection of electric taxis into Singapore’s transport network was launched amidst much fanfare from 300 attendees including the Secretary General of the National Trade Union Congress Chan Chun Sing, diplomats and various BYD representatives.

The expansion comes two years after BYD’s fleet of 30 e-taxis first hit the country’s roads in 2014, operated by HDT Holdings, the only e-taxi operator in Singapore, in partnership with the ride hailing company Grab. With the highly recognized customized service of the 30 e-taxi fleet, HDT Holdings got a special permission from the local government to run another 100 e-taxis and called up a tender for the fleet. BYD won this tender to provide the 100 e-taxis to HDT based on its global experience in the industry and the previous successful cooperation with them. “BYD’s electric cars have become our calling card,” said HDT Holdings General Manager James Ng.

Singapore has gradually adopted environmentally friendly policies over the years. The introduction of the 100 e6 taxis is estimated to save the island state around 46,400 tons of carbon emissions a year roughly equivalent to saving 26,000 trees.

“This is only the beginning, as there will be more BYD products and services for Singaporeans in the future,” said Liu Xueliang, General Manager of BYD Asia Pacific Auto Sales Division. “BYD will continue to support Singapore in its noble ambition for sustainable transportation.”

The BYD e6, an all-electric compact crossover/compact MPV, has zero emissions and offers a range of 400 kilometers. There are e6 taxi fleets in China, Colombia, Belgium, Netherlands, U.K., and the U.S.

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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.

Commentary: Warren Buffett Keeps Getting Valentines from Phillips 66

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“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” wrote poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The same could be said by Warren Buffet when it comes to an energy sector company that is clearly dear to his heart.

If there is one company in the oil and gas sector that Warren Buffett especially loves, it is Houston-based Phillips 66, an energy manufacturing and logistics company with a portfolio of integrated businesses: Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties.

Back in early 2014, Berkshire swapped a large portion of its previous Phillips 66 position for the company’s chemical business unit, which was added to Berkshire’s specialty chemical maker Lubrizol.

“We were able to do that on a tax-advantage basis. We didn’t trade them because we didn’t like the stock,” Warren Buffett said at the time on CNBC’s Squawk Alley.

“I had always intended on coming back in, assuming that the price was right.”

By mid-2015, Buffett was back in and Berkshire revealed that it had accumulated 58 million shares of stock.

That position Has Only Grown

Buffett’s love of Phillips 66 has continued unabated, as he added to the position throughout 2016.

As of its last filing, Berkshire Hathaway now owns $6.4 billion of Phillips 66 stock, which works out to around 15.67% of the company. Berkshire is the largest institutional owner.

Why does Buffett love Phillips 66?

First of all, the company’s diversified businesses make it a leader in refining (it owns 13 refineries), marketing (it sells fuel In the U.S. under the Phillips 66, Conoco and 76 brands), and Midstream operations. Its Midstream operations gathers, processes, transports and markets natural gas, and transports, fractionates and markets natural gas liquids in the United States. Phillips 66 also manufactures and markets petrochemicals and plastics worldwide.

Phillips 66’s diversified businesses has given it relative stability in the face of recent slumps on crude oil prices, and the stock remained strong between 2014 and 2017.

With a current dividend yield of 3.22%, the stock has been pouring cash into Berkshire, much of it through positions held by its insurance company National Indemnity.

Rising Dividends

Buffett’s love of Phillips 66 is likely to continue. Back in 2015, the company’s dividend yielded between 1.9% and 2.7%. With most of the quarters paying dividends of 56 cents a share. Since May 2016, the dividends have moved up and it has paid 63 cents a quarter for the past four quarters.

A strong stock price and a fat dividend. What’s Warren Buffett not to love?

© 2017 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 Launches Expanded Line-Up B-Box Battery Energy Storage Systems in Australia

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China’s BYD Company, the world’s largest supplier of rechargeable batteries, has launched its newly expanded line-up of B-Box Battery Energy Storage Systems in Australia, one of the world’s fastest growing residential energy storage markets.

The B-Box aims squarely at the same market as Tesla’s Powerwall.

BYD’s easy-to-install modular battery cabinets are available in a HV (high-voltage) model for both commercial and residential use, as well as in a LV (low-voltage) model for residential use. At the same time, BYD announces 4 authorized distributors for the B-Box sales in Australia, Sol Distribution Pty Ltd., RF Industries Pty Ltd., 360 Energy Pty Ltd and Solar Australia Pty Ltd.

The latest BYD storage systems are IP55 certified, meaning the storage systems are protected against the elements and hostile environments. They are based on the company’s proprietary Lithium Iron-Phosphate (LiFePO4) storage chemistry, which has an outstanding safety record and makes it the ideal technology for countries like Australia.

The B-Box HV Series employs a modular design with battery capacities ranging from 5.6 to 10.08 kWh, providing more than enough energy for the average household and can be scaled up to 50kWh for commercial and industrial applications. The B-Box LV Residential Series is available in four capacities ranging from 2.5 to 10.0 kWh and can be scaled up to 80kWh.

Together with the B-Box LV Professional Series currently on sale, BYD now has a complete energy storage product line-up in Australia.

BYD has chosen Australia to launch its expanded B-Box battery storage systems because the country is currently one of the most attractive markets for solar PV and storage deployment. A combination of the expiry of various state-based feed-in tariff schemes, high and rising electricity tariffs and plentiful sunshine make battery storage coupled with rooftop solar extremely attractive to households and businesses.

According to a 2016 report published by IHS, Energy Storage Intelligence Service, behind-the-meter storage installations are expected to double each year through 2018, with more than 30,000 Australian homes having solar and energy storage systems by 2018.

The BYD B-Box can help households and businesses to slash their electricity bills by storing the output of their rooftop solar panel systems for use in the evening, when household electric appliance demand tends to rise. The B-Box can minimize the amount of solar energy that is fed back to the grid, as well as the impact of costly electricity tariffs.

“The B-Box series offers a wide range of renewable power capabilities to meet light to heavy electrical load usage, off-grid or on-grid, single-phase or three-phase applications.” said Julia Chen, Global sales director, BYD Batteries. “Ideally, the B-Box can be integrated to a fully sustainable energy-independent enterprise or lifestyle, enabling its users to reduce reliance on electricity from fossil fuels, especially when combined with BYD’s solar power systems, thus drastically cutting energy costs.”

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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 Gets Major EV Bus Order from Australian Company

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China’s BYD Company has secured an order for 40 pure electric buses from Australian airport ground transportation provider Carbridge.

The contract was signed at the end of January in the presence of senior executives from BYD and Carbridge, three months after the first BYD Electric Blu bus made its commercial debut at Sydney Airport.

“We are the first Chinese company to crack Australia’s electric bus market, having come a long way since the trial of our electric buses at the country’s busiest airport in Sydney in late 2014,” said Liu Xueliang, General Manager of BYD’s Asia Pacific Auto Sales Division. “This additional order from a large transport provider like Carbridge is testimony to our quality service and state of the art technology – and was a very nice present just before the Lunar New Year.”

The Electric Blu bus has a carrying capacity of 70 passengers; features purpose-designed luggage storage racks and has a range of 400km on a single charge. The fleet of six currently in operation at Sydney Airport is also estimated to lower carbon emissions by 160 tons a year, reduce waste fluids and noise levels.

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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.

No Forever, Buffett Says

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

In Warren Buffett’s latest annual letter to shareholders, Buffett clarified his view on what are sometimes called his “forever stocks.” These refer to Berkshire’s long-held positions in Coca-Cola and American Express, among others. These represent huge holdings where the cost basis is now so low that the annual dividends in some cases equal or come near the original cost of acquisition. Often, investors assume that Buffett’s love for these stocks means that he would never sell them. That’s not true, says Buffet, and he went out of his way this year to clarify that there is no such thing as a “forever stock.”

“Sometimes the comments of shareholders or media imply that we will own certain stocks “forever.” It is true that we own some stocks that I have no intention of selling for as far as the eye can see (and we’re talking 20/20 vision). But we have made no commitment that Berkshire will hold any of its marketable securities forever.”

© 2017 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 to Build Two Latin America Factories

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China’s BYD Company plans to set up two new factories in Latin America in 2017 to expand the market penetration of its world class electric buses.

The new manufacturing facilities will produce vehicles for the local markets and add to existing plants in the US, Hungary and Brazil.

BYD’s electric bus and other new energy vehicles have a footprint in 240 cities across 50 countries.

In January 2017, the company was selected as the recommended company by the evaluation committee in Argentina for the purchase of 50 electric buses on behalf of the Ministry of Environment.

In keeping with its other Latin American expansion plans, the Mayor of the Uruguayan city of Montevideo, Eng. Daniel Martinez has become the first mayor in Latin America to have an electric vehicle as an official car. The BYD e6 was delivered to Mr Martinez with a license plate number reserved for the city’s top official – “SIM 1”.

It is a first for the city to have an electric vehicle for a senior government official, and is in line with the country’s move towards cleaner transportation and power.

Uruguay has made sizeable investments in green energy in recent years leaping 16 places to be ranked 10 in the World Economic Forum.
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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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 Tops Global EV Sales Charts

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China’s BYD Company., the Shenzhen-based new energy technology company was the highest selling manufacturer of new energy vehicles in 2016 for the second consecutive year.

According to figures compiled by EV Sales, a website that tracks the global market for new energy vehicles, BYD’s global sales of 100183 units represented a 70 percent increase from the previous year.

BYD Tang a powerful hybrid electric SUV first unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show in 2014 was the third best -selling model around the world, followed by the BYD Qin and BYD e6 which clinched the ninth and 10th place respectively.

“These results are very encouraging for us as we have invested heavily in researching and developing new energy technology for cars, buses and monorails among others,” said BYD’s Li Yunfei, Deputy General Manager of Branding and PR Division. “We believe new energy is one way we can deal with climate change and that is why we want to use our ‘Cool the Earth by 1 Degree’ campaign to increase public awareness of climate change and the many ways renewable energy can be generated, stored and used.”

Data tallied by EV Sales shows Chinese manufacturers of new energy vehicles are making advancements overseas while continuing to grow in-country.

Separately BYD was also ranked by China’s Highway and Transportation Society as last year’s top provider of electric buses that are longer than 10 meters.

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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 EV Sales Skyrocket in China

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With everyone in China celebrating the Lunar New Year, BYD Company must certainly be celebrating its spectacular EV car sales in 2016.

The Chinese battery and car manufacturer saw its 2016 EV sales rocket up a dramatic 70% over 2015.

For the year, BYD sold roughly 100,000 cars as compared to 59,000 in 2015.

BYD’s sales leader was its pure-electric E6 sedan, which sold over 20,000 units for the year. The 5-passenger car uses BYD’s iron-phosphate battery to achieve a range of roughly 186 miles (300km).

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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 to Bring Pure Electric Buses to Argentina

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

China’s BYD Company has been officially selected as the recommended company by the evaluation committee in Argentina for the purchase of 50 electric buses on behalf of the Ministry of Environment.

The tender was launched by the Ministry of Environment as a pilot project for the introduction of electric public transport in different cities throughout the country.

The bid evaluation committee chose BYD amongst a pool of 5 bidders for its successful 12-meter electric bus, which is already widely used in cities such as London, Los Angeles, and Amsterdam.

BYD begun the promotion of its technologies in Argentina in 2011 through its local subsidiary, especially those related to electric vehicles and public transport. In November 2011, the company signed its first MOU with the Ministry of Industry and the Secretary of Transport.

During BYD’s senior-level management visit to the country in May 2016, Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and Minister of Environment Sergio Bergman expressed their high expectations for the introduction of BYD technologies and electric vehicle models to their nation’s public transportation systems.

BYD expects to receive the necessary allocation within the next few weeks.
To better satisfy market demands, BYD plans to build a new local manufacturing plant in Argentina. This plant would bring foreign investment to Argentina, and will have a significant impact in the creation of new jobs.

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 is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

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

© 2017 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.