Berkshire Hathaway-Backed BYD Hits New All-Time High

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD’s stock jumped to a new all-time high on Friday, with the share price up a dramatic 22.67 percent in the past month.

Shares of BYDDF jumped +$1.38 (3.76%) to close at $38.10 on October 22, 2021.

BYD shares had been on a dramatic run since 2020, rising from $4.52 on March 20, 2020 to an intraday peak of $38.33 on Friday. The 52-week low was $17.05.

The sharp rise comes as BYD’s strong September car sales in China of 70,022 plug-in vehicles. September was the fourth month in a row that the company set a sales record.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million has grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: Being Contrarian Has No Special Virtue

Warren Buffett is famous for saying “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” However, this shouldn’t mislead investors that just being contrarian is the key to investing success.

“Being contrarian has no special virtue over being a trend follower,” Warren Buffett noted at the 2006 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “You’re right because your facts and reasoning are right. So all you do is you try to make sure that the facts you have are correct.”

Hear Buffett’s full explanation

See the complete Lessons From Warren Buffett series

© 2021 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.

Susan A. Buffett and Christopher C. Davis Appointed to Berkshire Hathaway Board of Directors

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Berkshire Hathaway has announced that Susan A. Buffett and Christopher C. Davis have each been elected to the Board of Directors of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Susan Alice Buffett (60) is the daughter of Warren Buffett and is the Chairman of the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and the Chairman of the Sherwood Foundation, each of which is a private, grant-making foundation based in Omaha, Nebraska.

Christopher Davis (54) is Chairman of Davis Select Advisors, an investment management firm that oversees over $25 billion in assets. He is a director on the boards of both Coca-Cola and Graham Co.

The appointments come less than a month after the death of longtime Berkshire Hathaway director Walter Scott Jr., who died in September at the age of 90.

© 2021 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’s RLS LLC Moves Headquarters to St. Louis

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Berkshire Hathaway’s RLS LLC is moving into a new 80,000-square-foot headquarters in St. Louis. The company was formerly located in rural Northeast Missouri.

Owned by Berkshire through its Marmon Holdings division, RLS designs, develops, and proudly manufactures in America its patented fittings engineered for high-pressure connections in the air conditioning and refrigeration industries. By replacing the time-consuming and demanding conventional practice of manually brazing copper joints, RLS’s fittings allow for faster, more consistent connections that reduce total installed cost while enhancing safety.

RLS is the manufacturer of the Rapid Locking System line of flame-free press-to-connect fittings for HVAC and refrigeration systems, has announced it will be moving into a new 80,000 square foot multipurpose facility in St. Louis, Missouri, which will serve as its corporate headquarters and will include a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, training center and showroom.

RLS will be relocating manufacturing from Shelbina, Missouri, where it has been sharing a plant with its sister company, Cerro Flow Products. Both are part of the Plumbing & Refrigeration sector of Marmon Holdings, a Berkshire Hathaway company. All RLS operations are planned to be consolidated into the new building by the end of 2021.

“We’re very excited to have manufacturing, office staff and training all under one roof,” said Paul Schubert, president of RLS. “The larger, upgraded facility will significantly increase our production capacity to meet the growing demand for our products. And the new training center will allow us to regularly educate HVAC/R contractors and distributors on our patented press technology, which is easily identified by our unique double circular press and flares.”

After originally introducing its press fittings in 2015 under the ZoomLock brand through a private-label agreement with Parker Hannifin, RLS has experienced tremendous growth since relaunching under its own brand name at the end of 2019. To support this continued growth, RLS has recently added more than 10 new positions in sales, marketing and engineering across the U.S., and is currently hiring.

“As more and more contractors discover the many benefits of using press fittings over the traditional brazing process, they continue to choose the time-tested and field-proven technology provided by RLS,” said Schubert. “As a result, we are continuing to invest in the facilities, equipment and people needed to meet demand.”

RLS press fittings connect in 10 seconds using a battery-powered tool and jaws, replacing the time-consuming process of manually brazing HVAC/R joints. The fittings result in faster, more consistent connections that reduces total installed costs, while also increasing jobsite safety by eliminating the use of an open flame.

© 2021 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.

GEICO in Major Hiring Push in Georgia

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Berkshire Hathaway’s auto insurer GEICO hiring in Macon, Georgia. GEICO looks to hire nearly 500 new associates in claims, service, sales, salvage/title processing, emergency roadside help and other vital areas in Macon.

The company is also significantly increasing starting salaries across those positions.

The company’s Total Rewards benefits package includes health, dental and vision coverage, paid vacation and holidays, parental leave, and continuing education and tuition reimbursement.

Founded in 1936, GEICO is the second largest auto insurer in the U.S., covering more than 28 million vehicles in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

GEICO employs more than 43,000 associates countrywide.

© 2021 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’s Berkadia Has Record-Breaking Year

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While the Covid shutdown has many companies still trying to get their revenues back to pre-pandemic levels, one Berkshire Hathaway company is doing more business than ever.

Berkadia, Berkshire Hathaway’s joint venture with Jefferies Financial Group, has had a record-breaking investment sales year so far, closing more than $12 billion in investments sales across 400 transactions to date.

The Mid-Atlantic region alone has totaled more than $1 billion across 35 transactions.

This success comes on the heels of Berkadia’s increased commitment to serving institutional clients, who have played an outsized role in the industry’s post-COVID rebound.

At the start of the year, Berkadia acquired the apartment brokerage arm of Moran and Company, launching Berkadia Institutional Solutions, powered by Moran.

In January 2021, Berkadia forecast robust business in its annual webinar.

About Berkadia

Founded in 2009 as a 50/50 joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation (now known as Jefferies Financial Group), Berkadia is a third-party commercial mortgage servicer, as well as an approved lender for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD/FHA.

The company is among the top Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae multifamily lenders.

Berkadia owes its origins to GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation, which was acquired in 2009 by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. Christened Capmark Financial, the company had $10 billion of originations in 2008 and a servicing portfolio of more than $360 billion before running into bankruptcy in October 2009.

In a deal approved by the bankruptcy court, Capmark sold its mortgage loan and servicing to the newly formed Berkadia in a deal worth $515 million.

The deal brought Berkshire into the heart of the commercial loan serving business, and the company has one of the largest commercial real estate servicing portfolios.

© 2021 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.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: This Changed Warren Buffett From a Poor Investor to a Great One

Warren Buffett is such a legendary investor that it is easy to assume that it came to him so naturally that he was always successful. That actually wasn’t the case, according to Buffett.

“From eleven to nineteen, I was reading Garfield Drew, and Edwards and Magee, and all kinds of, I mean, I read every book, Gerald M. Loeb, I mean, I read every book there was on investments, and I didn’t do well at all. And I had no real investment philosophy. I had a lot of things I tried. I was having a lot of fun. I wasn’t making any money,” Warren Buffett said at the 2002 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “And I read Ben’s book (Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor) in 1949 when I was at University of Nebraska, and that actually just changed my whole view of investing. And it really did, basically, told me to think about a stock as a part of a business. Now, that seems so obvious. You can say, you know, that why should you regard that as the Rosetta Stone? But it is a Rosetta Stone, in a sense.”

Buffett’s full explanation on the books he read that molded his investing philosophy

See the complete Lessons From Warren Buffett series

© 2021 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 Sells 5 EV Buses to Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit

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Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD has announced that the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico City Council approved the purchase of five K8M 35-foot battery-electric buses for its RoadRUNNER Transit fleet.

Under a five-year contract to be awarded to BYD, the city will buy five K8Ms and has an option to purchase seven additional buses. The five buses, which will be made in the United States, are expected to arrive in New Mexico’s second largest city in fall 2022 and could be in service before Christmas next year. They will replace older carbon-fuel buses.

“As part of its sustainability initiatives, the Las Cruces City Council is committed to making the city a model of sustainable practices which includes converting City fleet vehicles to electric vehicles,” said Mike Bartholomew, the city’s Transit Administrator. “We are very excited about the opportunity to start the process of moving to a fully electric fleet in the city’s RoadRUNNER Transit service.”

The American-made K8M, a state-of-the-art transit bus, can seat up to 33 passengers. Highly reliable and safe, the K8M battery electric bus comes equipped with up to 435kWh LFP battery and can be fully charged within 3 hours.

The K8M set a high scoring record in the Federal Transit Administration Model Bus Testing Program in Altoona, Pa., earning high marks in structural durability, reliability, maintainability, and safety.

“BYD buses, known around the country for their style, safety and innovation, are a perfect fit for Las Cruces,” said Patrick Duan, BYD North America Senior Vice President. “We see a great and expanding market for our brand in New Mexico and know that residents and riders will appreciate this clean, quiet and efficient addition to the city’s fleet.”

The Las Cruces announcement comes on the heels of New Mexico officials picking BYD to participate in a statewide purchase agreement that gives transit agencies throughout the Land of Enchantment and the United States the ability to buy American-made BYD coaches and buses.

The vehicles, which comply with strict Buy America standards, are manufactured in ISO 9001-certified American factory, guaranteeing quality, safety, and efficiency in every aspect of design, production, and customer care.

Buses included in the agreement are the 30-foot K7M, the 35-foot K8M, the 40-foot K9M, and the 60-foot K11M. Motor coaches included in the agreement are the 23-foot C6M, 40-foot C9M, and 45-foot C10M.

About BYD

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: Warren Buffett Disagrees With Beta as a Measurement of Risk

Beta, the measurement of a stock’s volatility, is not a measurement of riskiness, according to Warren Buffett. Although many investors are taught that high beta stocks have more potential for gain but also a higher risk of loss due to their volatility, Buffett disagrees.

“It became very fashionable in the academic world, and then that spilled over into the financial markets, to define risk in terms of volatility, of which beta became a measure, but that is no measure of risk to us,” Warren Buffett said at the 1994 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “Interesting thing is that using conventional measures of risk, something whose return varies from year to year between plus-20 percent and plus-80 percent is riskier, as defined, than something whose return is 5 percent a year every year. We just think the financial world has gone haywire in terms of measures of risk.”

Hear Buffett’s full explanation

See the complete Lessons From Warren Buffett series

© 2021 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.

Kraft Heinz Completes Purchase of Assan Foods, Expanding Presence in Key Growth Markets

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The Kraft Heinz Company has announced it has completed the purchase of Assan Foods from privately held Turkish conglomerate Kibar Holding. The proposed deal was first announced on June 11, 2021.

Assan Foods, headquartered in Istanbul, is a rapidly growing sauces-focused business with local manufacturing facilities in Balikesir and Izmir, Turkey. Assan Foods has been a certified Kraft Heinz production partner since 2019 and offers Kraft Heinz the opportunity to further build its retail and foodservice businesses across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

“Assan Foods makes high-quality sauces and tomato products that we believe fit perfectly into our International Zone’s growth strategy focused on Taste Elevation, and expands our presence in a part of the world that holds tremendous long-term opportunity for our company and our brands,” said Rafa Oliveira, International Zone President at Kraft Heinz. “We’re excited to officially welcome Assan Foods employees to the Kraft Heinz table.”

Assan Foods was established in Balikesir in 1998 as a Kibar Holding investment in the food sector and evolved into one of the top producers in the region. Assan Foods manufactures and sells a wide range of products, including tomato paste, ketchup, mayonnaise, and pasta and meat sauces that appeal to a variety of international cuisines. Its products are sold under brands such as Colorado, Kingtom, and Oba, as well as private label.

© 2021 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.