BYD Faces Trouble Over China Land-Use Violation

BYD has encountered a few rough patches lately with cuts to its sales target for 2010 and second quarter profits that were significantly below consensus estimates. These developments have resulted in a sharp drop in BYD’s share price with the ADRs falling close to 52 week lows. Adding to the negative news, Bloomberg reports that China’s Ministry of Land and Resources has accused BYD of illegally building seven factories on 112 acres of farmland that was zoned for agricultural use. The government will make a decision regarding the punishment for the company prior to the end of September. Read this article for more details.

BYD Cuts Sales Target Amid Capacity Constraints

BYD has announced a 25 percent reduction for its 2010 sales target due to capacity constraints. The company now expects to sell 600,000 vehicles. However, this figure would still represent rapid growth as evidenced by the company’s 63.5 percent growth in domestic Chinese vehicle sales in the first six months of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. BYD’s growth in China this year would represent a significant increase in market share. Read this article for more information.

Berkshire’s Investment in BYD: A Bet on Wang Chuan-Fu

Berkshire’s Investment in BYD:  A Bet on Wang Chuan-Fu

Berkshire Hathaway’s investment in BYD made its first appearance in Warren Buffett’s annual letter which provides a table listing common stock investments with a market value of more than $1 billion. As of December 31, 2009, Berkshire held 225 million shares of BYD with a market value of nearly $2 billion. Berkshire’s cost basis is $232 million. While the investment has appreciated significantly, it is unusual for Warren Buffett to purchase shares of what is essentially a technology company in a very unsettled industry environment. Read this article for more details.


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