Tag Archives: Stock Portfolio

BYD to Build Electric Bus Assembly Plant in France

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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.

No Forever, Buffett Says

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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’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.

BYD to Enter Italy’s Pure Electric Bus Market

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Turin will be the first city in Italy to deploy BYD Company’s pure electric buses.

The Chinese battery and vehicle-maker also recently announced its buses will be purchased by transit systems in Iran and Korea.

The city of Turin is purchasing 19 BYD ebuses delivering zero emission transport on city streets.

BYD won the country’s first big tender for 12 metre pure electric buses which was awarded on September 23, 216. The contract has a total value of over €10 million.

The tender is for long range, full size buses to operate on Piedmont Region’s urban transport networks.

BYD will supply a fleet of 12m ebuses together with the provision of full service support for 10 years. The buses use BYD’s Iron Phosphate (or “Fe”) Battery.

BYD ebuses will begin serving the major cities of Piedmont in summer 2017, and the ebuses will connect the city centers with suburban areas.

“Thanks to the vision of GTT to make Turin green this order ensures that Italy, together with the UK and France, is a top market for BYD in Europe”, said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe. “We have consistently said that we would have ‘lift off’ in Europe when our order book exceeded 100 ebuses. These Italian orders bring the current total to over 100 units: we have truly arrived. What a way to end the year!”

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.

© 2016 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.

Howard G. Buffett to Step Down from Coca-Cola Board of Directors

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The Board of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company have announced that Howard G. Buffett, 61, will not stand for re-election to the Board at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareowners in April 2017.

The move comes as Coca-Cola Company announced that its Board of Directors has approved unanimously the recommendation of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent for changes to the company’s senior leadership structure. Under the new structure, company veteran James Quincey, President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Kent as CEO, effective May 1, 2017. Kent will continue as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

According to a statement issued by Coca-Cola, Buffett has chosen to retire from the Board to focus more time on his work as Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, which focuses on advancing sustainable agricultural practices and conflict mitigation throughout the world.

“I’ve enjoyed my more than 17 years of combined service to the boards of Coca-Cola Enterprises and The Coca-Cola Company and have the utmost respect and admiration for the work the Company is doing to sustainably grow its business around the world,” Buffett said. “Under the long-time leadership of Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, joined recently by President and COO James Quincey, the Company has exciting plans for the future and is poised to deliver even greater value to its many stakeholders in the years to come.”

Buffett joined The Coca-Cola Company’s Board of Directors in December 2010 and has served as a member of the Public Issues and Diversity Review Committee since 2011. From 1993-2004 he served as a director on the Board of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc., which at the time was the largest bottler of Coca-Cola beverages in North America and Western Europe.

In addition to his role with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Buffett serves as President of Buffett Farms, a commercial farming operation in Nebraska, and, since 1993, has served as a director of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. From 1995 to January 2016, Buffett also served as a director of Lindsay Corporation.

© 2016 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 Supply Pure Electric Vehicles to Iran

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Chinese renewable energy technology leader BYD Company has become the first company to supply pure electric vehicles to Iran.

BYD’s strategic partnership with the country’s largest private passenger car manufacturer Kerman khodro will also see the Shenzhen-based company export other leading technological products to Iran including hybrid vehicles, electric commercial vehicles and rechargeable batteries.

“Our partnership with Karmania is an important step in expanding our Middle East operations,” said AD Huang, General Manager of BYD’s Middle East and Africa Auto Sales Division. “Iran’s new energy vehicle market has vast potential because the government of Iran has the foresight of sustainable development. We endeavor to use our excellent technology to provide quality products and service to the people of Iran.”

“We are very positive about the future of new energy vehicles in Iran because of BYD’s mature technology, the scale of its production and operational success,” said Karmania CEO Pooya Salari Sharif. Karmania is a subsidiary of Kerman that specially for BYD.

BYD’s commercial initiatives in the Middle East and Africa presently include energy storage, new energy vehicles and solar power generation.

According to a statement by BYD, Iran is just one of several Middle Eastern countries responding to climate change concerns through various environmentally friendly policies such as tax breaks for new energy vehicles. These initiatives also assist nations in reducing their dependence on fossil fuel.

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.

© 2016 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.