Category Archives: Stock Portfolio

BYD Delivers 100 E-Buses to Santiago, Chile

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has delivered 100 new BYD electric buses to the port of San Antonio.

Three Chilean Ministers (Transportation, Energy and Environment) welcomed the buses, together with representatives of BYD, Enel and Metbus.

The buses, BYD K9FE, were shipped from the port of Shanghai on July 1, and landed on Wednesday, beginning the overland journey from San Antonio to the Chilean capital Santiago, where they will be integrated into the fleet that operates on the Avenida Grecia, the only completely electrified bus line in all of the Americas, and one that benefits more than 660 thousand people weekly.

Following the arrival of this batch of electric buses, another 83 units will be added in mid-August. These 183 units of BYD pure electric buses will join the 100 electric buses that BYD and local partner Enel brought into Santiago last December, which gave BYD a dominant share of more than 60% in the capital’s promising electric bus market, and created the largest pure electric bus fleet in Latin America.

Minister Hutt pointed out that “the arrival of this new fleet of electric buses demonstrates once again that the qualitative leap in public transport will not change, as well as our commitment to continue raising the quality of people’s travel experience and, of course, their quality of life. It is a profound and radical transformation, which is embodied in the next tenders that we are promoting”.

With the arrival of the new electric buses, about 6% of the capital’s fleet is now electrified and emissions-free. These 12-meter vehicles, like those already operating in Santiago, have Wi-Fi, USB ports, universal accessibility for people with reduced mobility, cameras and a segregated cab for driver safety, as well as padded seats and low floors.

They will be integrated during the last quarter into the existing Metbus fleet to operate the lines 506, 507 and 510, along the popular Avenida Grecia route. Metbus is also the largest pure electric bus fleet operator in all of the Americas.

“The arrival of these 100 new electric buses sees Metbus set a benchmark for electromobility in Santiago’s public transport, which makes us very proud, because we were able to incorporate this new technology in the country”, said Juan Pinto, president of Metbus. “We also opened the doors of the market so that many other bus operators are excited to bring electric buses here and several bus factories want to open in Chile to compete with these new products”.

The 183 electric buses will be powered by Enel X, which will also provide the necessary charging infrastructure by building three new charging stations in Santiago. “This new milestone for electric public transportation is framed in the context of the energy transition that Enel is leading. Our actions seek to support Chile’s transition to an ever-cleaner energy system and contribute to solving challenges as important as reducing pollution in our cities”, said Paolo Pallotti, general manager of Enel Chile.

“With this new fleet we started a consolidation process in the market and we continue to lead electric vehicle sales in Chile. All this would not be possible without our client Metbus, and also with the support of Enel X we have made possible a completely innovative financing structure,” said Tamara Berríos, Country Manager of BYD Chile. “In 2019, Chile will have the first fully electric bus route on the continent, 100% non-polluting and noise-free. The government has set Chile as a role model for the entire region and we will continue to support these electromobility initiatives”.

At present, BYD pure electric buses are successfully servicing markets in many countries across Latin America, including Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and Uruguay. Globally, BYD’s pure electric buses, taxi, and other vehicles have spread to over 300 cities, in more than 50 countries and regions.

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.

Warren Buffett Prevails in Battle with Carl Icahn

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Famed activist investor Carl Icahn has come up short in his battle with Warren Buffett over Occidental Petroleum’s acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum.

The deal closed on August 8, which puts in place Berkshire Hathaway’s funding deal of the takeover.

At the end of April, Buffett announced that Berkshire would invest $10 billion in Occidental in exchange for preferred stock and warrants to purchase common stock. The investment enabled Occidental to top Chevron’s bid for Anadarko.

The deal infuriated Icahn, who castigated Occidental’s CEO and President Vicki Hollub, and railed that “The whole thing is a travesty.”

In exchange for $10 billion, Berkshire Hathaway received 100,000 shares of cumulative perpetual preferred stock with a liquidation value of $100,000 per share and 8% annual dividend. Berkshire can redeem the shares for cash at the option of Occidental in at least 10 years for 105% of the liquidation price, in addition to all dividends.

Berkshire also received warrants to purchase up to 80 million shares of common stock with an exercise price of $62.50 per share, with an expiration date of up to one year after Berkshire redeems its preferred stock.

In a letter to Occidental shareholders written after the announcement, Icahn expressed his displeasure, stating that “Buffett figuratively took her to the cleaners,” and that it was “like taking candy from a baby.”

That may be, but Berkshire will now be receiving 8% for as long as it holds its preferred stock, which looks mighty good in these days of falling interest rates. Berkshire will be receiving $800 million a year, and may make millions more if oil prices rise and make its warrants valuable.

© 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 Tops 100 Double-Decker E-Buses for London

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New energy company BYD in partnership with Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL ) has sold its 100th pure electric double-decker bus for service in London.

On July 27, 2015, BYD announced a joint project worth $29.6 million deal with British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited to build 51 single-deck zero-emission buses for London.
The buses utilize BYD’s chassis and electric drivetrain with the bodies supplied by ADL.

The partnership helps London move towards its goal of having all single-deck buses totally emission-free by 2020.

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 of future results.

BYD & Toyota to Jointly Develop Vehicles

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Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has signed an agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation for the joint development of battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The two parties will jointly develop sedans and low-floor SUVs as well as the onboard batteries for these vehicles and others with the aim to launch them in the Chinese market under the Toyota brand in the first half of the 2020s.

BYD was founded in 1995 as a battery business and has grown into a total energy solution company, manufacturing not only electrified vehicles but other products such as large-size energy storage cells. The company name BYD stands for “Build Your Dreams” and core parts for electrified vehicles such as batteries, motors and power electronics are among the products that BYD develops in-house. In 2008, BYD became the first company in the world to sell mass production of plug-in hybrid electrified vehicles (PHEVs). Since 2015 onwards, BYD’s sales of BEVs and PHEVs have been ranked first in the world for four consecutive years.

In 1997, Toyota became the first company in the world to launch mass production hybrid electrified vehicles (HEVs). Since then, it has become a pioneer of electrified vehicle development, and accumulated a rich array of technologies and experience in the development, production, and sales of electrified vehicles.

To curb global warming, both BYD and Toyota seek to reduce CO2 emissions by promoting the widespread use of BEVs. To accomplish these goals, both companies believe there is a need to put aside their rivalry and collaborate; therefore, the two companies have agreed to jointly develop BEVs.

Going forward, BYD and Toyota will make use of the electrified vehicles, and battery development technologies they have acquired through their market introductions and will work together to further develop BEVs that are attractive to customers and in further promoting their widespread adoption.

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.

BYD Opens New Global Design Center in Shenzhen

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Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has opened a new global design center at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen.

Some 300 designers will be working in the 136,000 square-foot design center.

The team is led by an elite trio of European designers that have left their marks on top brands:

Global Design Director Wolfgang Egger. Egger previously served as Chief Designer for Audi. Egger has over 30 years of experience in automotive design. During his time at Audi, he created new designs for iconic models such as the A8, Q7 and TT and oversaw the Lamborghini sub-brand. Before joining Audi, he worked at Alfa Romeo where he led the team in developing stunning designs that received worldwide acclaim.

Global Exterior Design Director JuanMa Lopez came to BYD after eight years as head of exterior design at Ferrari, where he supervised the design of the F12 Berlinetta, LaFerrari, 812 Superfast, 488 Coupe and Spider, and many others. He began his career as an industrial designer and is known for his extraordinary skills in prototyping.

And, Michele Jauch-Paganetti, who has been named Global Interior Design Director, came to BYD after serving as Head of Advanced Interior Design at Daimler AG. During his 18 years at Daimler, he led teams creating Mercedes Benz interiors ranging from the everyday luxury of the C Class to the avant-garde vision of the Maybach 6. Before joining Daimler, he spent 8 years at Volkswagen.

BYD already has design centers in Shanghai and Los Angeles, and has various designers based in Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Germany.

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.

BYD Opens Bus Assembly Plant in Canada

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has expanded its North American operations with the opening of its first bus assembly plant in Canada.

With buses already on order or in operation in Toronto, Victoria, Longueil, St. Albert and Grand Prairie, BYD will inaugurate the new 45,000-square-foot facility by assembling buses for the Toronto Transit Commission, Canada’s largest transit operator.

“We’re proud to establish a home in Canada; it re-affirms our commitment as a company to be rooted in this country and in this province,” said Ted Dowling, Vice President, BYD Canada.

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.

Santiago, Chile to Add 183 More BYD Electric Buses By August

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Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has sold an additional 183 electric buses to Santiago, Chile.

The Chilean Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Gloria Hutt, recently announced the new order, which is due to arrive in August.

The 183 BYD electric buses will join an existing fleet of 100 BYD electric buses that started service in December 2018. The buses are operated by Metbus.

With the new delivery, Santiago will become the largest operator of electric buses outside of China, with some 411 buses in service.

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.

Commentary: Has the Time Finally Come for Berkshire to Cash Out of Axalta?

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Has the time finally come for Berkshire Hathaway to cash out of its minority position in Axalta?

Back in 2015, Berkshire Hathaway acquired roughly 10% minority stake in Axalta Coating Systems from The Carlyle Group for $560 million, or $28.00 per share. Axalta is a leading global coatings provider for vehicles and industrial applications.

Since that time it’s watched its investment flounder, as the Philadelphia-based Axalta fought off being acquired by PPG, and spurned another potential merger with Dutch coatings company Akzo Nobel.

Nippon Paint was another company that was interested in Axalta, only to have the company reject a $9.1 billion all-cash bid that it made near the end of 2017.

2017 was also a year of internal turmoil for the company. Axalta parted ways with its newly hired CEO, Terrence Hahn, after only five weeks on the job. The dismissal came after an internal investigation turned up conduct that Axalta “believes was inconsistent with company policies.”

Chief financial officer Robert Bryant took over as CEO and remains in that position today.

Apparently, Axalta was a company unwilling to be taken over by anyone.

Now, Axalta finally seems ready to enhance shareholder value, and a takeover has become more likely.

“Axalta’s Board is committed to maximizing value for all shareholders and has initiated a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives, including a potential sale of the Company, changes in capital allocation, and ongoing execution of our strategic plan,” according to Axalta director Mark Garrett.

With a sale of the company finally on its board’s agenda, could this be the time for Buffett to finally get something for his investment?

Nippon Paint, PPG, and Akzo Nobel are all among the potential players, and the market has quickly recognized that this time may finally be different for Axalta.

Axalta (AXTA) closed on Friday at $29.99, making Berkshire’s stake worth $727,677,360. And it’s now trading above its 52-week high of $30.94 in Friday’s after-hours trading.

Hopefully there’s more good news to come.

Finally.

© 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.

Panama Has Big Plans for BYD’s e-Taxis

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Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has taken the first steps on what will be a major fleet of e-taxis in Colón, Panama.

BYD has delivered the first seven e-taxis for a planned fleet of 1,500 e-taxis in Colón, with 90 more to be on the road by the end of 2019.

The seven BYD e6 sedans provide service to tourists and locals visiting the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal.

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 is the Latest Way to Get to Disneyland

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Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD will soon be giving you a lift to Disneyland.

Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) has announced that it would add 40 of BYD’s all-electric buses to its fleet serving the renowned tourist destination.

In 2013, BYD opened its U.S. electric bus manufacturing plant in nearby Lancaster, California, and in April 2019 delivered its 300th bus for the U.S. market.

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.