比亚迪股份有限公司(BYD Co.)从一定程度上可能代表着巴菲特(Warren Buffett)，但其表现却令人失望。
巴菲特麾下伯克希尔哈撒韦公司(Berkshire Hathaway) 2008年收购了比亚迪近10%的股权后，这个中国汽车和电池制造商的股票曾一度飙升。不过，随着比亚迪利润的下滑，巴菲特效应正不断减退。比亚迪股票较今年最高水平已下跌了逾50%。
BYD Co. might stand for Warren Buffett, yet disappointing.
Shares in the Chinese car and battery maker soared after Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought a near 10% stake in 2008. With profits slumping, though, the effect of the Buffett seal of approval is waning. The shares have fallen more than 50% from their highest level this year.
It's easy to see why investors are turned off. Profits fell 94% year-on-year in the first half of 2012, with problems in all the company's major segments.
In autos, which account for around half of BYD's revenue, China's slowing economy and the removal of government subsidies for car buyers are taking their toll. Passenger car sales growth for China as a whole slowed to 6.7% year-on-year in the first half, down from a high of 84.6% at the end of 2009. More intense competition is crimping margins too. Though BYD's auto sales were up 12.35% year-on-year, the segment eked out just a 2.9% increase in profits.
In handsets, profits fell by a quarter as problems at major customer Nokia NOK1V.HE -7.82%fed through to weaker demand. It was batteries though, that were BYD's real short circuit. Massive oversupply in solar power resulted in plummeting prices across the sector. BYD's battery segment turned from a 15 million yuan profit ($2.4 million) in the first half of 2011, to a 154 million yuan loss in 2012
There are potential positive catalysts for the stock. BYD's position as China's market leader in electric vehicles ties in with Beijing's plans to get 500,000 such vehicles on the streets by 2015. Handset sales too could get a boost if Nokia's smart phone business is buoyed by Samsung's 005930.SE +1.27%patent litigation problems in the U.S.
For now though, investors have pushed BYD's stock down from a high of more than HK$80 at the end of 2009 to HK$13.40 a share on Tuesday. At that price, Mr. Buffett is still sitting on a profit - BYD's shares are up almost 70% from Berkshire's entry price of about HK$7.90. Looking to the long-term future of electric vehicles, the Oracle of Omaha may be willing to wait for a bigger return. But other investors are clearly not so patient.