Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Category: Entrepreneurs

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire reports first-quarter profit of $ 7 billion

Berkshire Hathaway’s first-quarter profit rose 20%, recording $ 7.02 billion (about $ 4,600 per Class A share), compared to $ 5.87 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

Stock buybacks
The affiliate of billionaire Warren Buffett confirmed, Saturday, that its results are recovering from the repercussions of Covid-19, indicating that it has expanded its share buybacks through new buybacks of $ 6.6 billion, while Berkshire has repurchased $ 24.7 billion of its shares in last year.

From March 31 to April 22, Berkshire also bought more than $ 1.2 billion in shares that had previously sold.

The company’s net income was $ 11.71 billion during the first quarter of this year, or $ 7,638 per Class A share, compared to a net loss of $ 49.75 billion, or $ 30,653 per share, in the same period in 2020.

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, speaks to the press as he arrives at the 2019 annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 4, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

It is noteworthy that the Berkshire Accounting Rules “require reporting gains and losses on shares that you own, even if you do not make buying and selling operations.”
Profit before taxes from retailers such as Nebraska Furniture Mart and See’s Candies doubled, as Berkshire car dealerships sold more cars and some results surpassed pre-pandemic levels despite supply chain disruptions.
Berkshire explained that Precision’s quarterly revenue has decreased by 36%, estimating that revenue and profits will remain “relatively low” in 2021 because it is “unlikely that aircraft production will grow significantly”.
Class A shares of Berkshire closed at $ 412,500, Friday, after hitting their highest level the day before trading.
Forbes estimates the wealth of the American billionaire, Warren Buffett, at $ 103.7 billion, as of May 1, 2021, and he is ranked sixth in the world in the list of the richest billionaires.

The founder of Signal hacks into an Israeli company that specializes in hacking phones

Moxy Marlinspike, founder and director of the “Signal” instant messaging service, revealed that he had hacked a device used by the Israeli company, “Cellebrite”, which specializes in hacking smartphones for intelligence purposes.

In a post on the official website of Signal, Moxy indicated that the “Silbright” device, which was found by accident, contains security flaws that expose the Israeli company’s customers to danger and threaten the accuracy of the reports issued by the devices used to penetrate phones.

Security loopholes
The post indicated that there are a number of flaws in the software system for operating the “Celebright” device, and Moxy considered them to be “high-risk” loopholes capable of making the Israeli company warn its customers against using its devices to extract information from inside any smartphone.

Moxy pointed out that some of the discovered vulnerabilities are able to open the way for hackers to place malicious code inside the operating system of the “Silbright” device, by planting a malicious file inside one of the applications installed on the target phones.

Through the malicious programming, it becomes easy for the hacker to remotely control the data and files stored on the phones, and thus it is easy to tamper with the reports issued by the “Celebright” devices, and the security services, which are considered one of the most important customers of the Israeli company, depend on them.

Charges exchanged
This statement comes as a new episode in which Signal responds to the allegations made by the company, “Silbright”, which it launched last month, during which it stated that it is able to provide services to hack any account on the “Signal” service to its customers.

Signal’s statement included a response “to this allegation,” noting that what Silbright can do in terms of collecting data from a Signal account, is what anyone can do when they hold a phone in their hands with an unlocked screen lock, and the only feature it provides “Celebright” for its customers to perform this operation automatically, without human intervention.

Willis Carrier .. inventor of the air conditioner

From the need of society and the company that he worked for, the “Willis Carrier” invention; For air conditioners, he was not only an inventor but an entrepreneur who made an imprint in the life of the whole world.

Willis Carrer was born on November 26, 1876, in the town of “Angola”, New York, USA, to a family consisting of a father and mother. Since childhood, he was passionate about science, then he joined Cornell University, and graduated in 1901 with a BA in Engineering.

When he turned 25, Carrer introduced a thermostat and humidity control system at Sackett-Wilhelms Printing and Publishing in Brooklyn; As his first important invention; Based on temperature and humidity control, air circulation, and ventilation, as well as humidifying air and heating and cooling water; As the company was struggling with printing one color well at the time; Due to the effect of heat and humidity on paper and ink.

The first centrifugal refrigeration machine invented by Willis H. Carrier, the father of air conditioning, is pictured in this 1922 photo in Syracuse, N.Y. (AP Photo/Provided by Carrier Corporation)

Willis Carrier patented the cooling system that he invented, known as the first modern air conditioning system in the world, and then he continued his work in other refrigeration fields, and then he was appointed director of the company’s testing engineering department.

Laws and documents
In 1906 Willis Carrer discovered the “law of constant regression of the dew point”; Knowing that the constant slope of the dew point provides an almost constant relative humidity; Which made it based on the design of the automatic control system; He filed a patent suit for the design on May 17, 1907, but it was not issued until February 3, 1914.

On December 3, 1911, Carrier presented the most important document on the air conditioner at the annual meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She related the concepts of relative humidity, absolute humidity, and dew point temperature; This enables the air conditioning systems to be designed to precisely suit the requirements.

The first home air conditioner
By 1928, the company had developed its first home air conditioner, which is called the “weather maker,” but due to its high price, only wealthy families owned it.

The company merged with “Brunswick Cruise” and “York”; To form the Carrier Corporation, Willis Carrier was appointed as its Chairman.

Obstacles and challenges
Willis Carrier faced many financial challenges; As a result of the Wall Street crash in 1929, then the economic depression of 1930, homes and stores reduced the use of air conditioning.

Willis moved his company to New York, and in 1930, he launched his business in Japan and Korea through Toyo Carrier and Samsung Application.

Emmanuel Tarpin is an accomplished jewelry designer

World War II broke out; This led to the curtailment of the idea of ​​the “polar hut”, which the Carrier Company presented at the World’s Fair in 1939.

The third richest billionaire in South Korea donates most of his fortune to solving social issues

South Korea’s third-richest billionaire, Kim Bum Soo, founder of Kakao Corporation, has signed the Giving Pledge initiative, launched by billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, pledging to donate most of his wealth to help solve social problems.

In a New Year message, Kim pledged to his company employees to donate more than half of his fortune to these goals.

Buffett Initiative
Kim and his wife Mason Hyung are the 220th on the signatories to the initiative Warren Buffett started in 2010 with Bill Gates and his wife Melinda to encourage the wealthy to donate to charity.
The initiative has been joined by billionaires from 25 countries, including Tesla founder, billionaire Elon Musk, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson.
Kim joins the Korean billionaire Kim Bong Jin, founder of the food delivery app Woowa Brothers, who also signed Buffett’s initiative with his wife last month.
“After achieving the wealth that I was seeking, I am starting to feel bored and lack a direction in life,” said Kim in a statement, who grew up in a poor family.
As part of adopting a strategy to influence the lives of many Koreans, Kim launched a project to support 100 startup executives. Kim aims to explore suitable alternatives to the educational system for future generations.

Kakao Corp’s market value is about 42.534 trillion won ($ 37.6 billion), based on today’s share price of 479,000 won ($ 423.47).
Kim’s fortune
Kim is the third richest person in South Korea, with a net worth of $ 9.3 billion, according to real-time statistics from Forbes.

Kim managed to increase his fortune by 232% in less than a year, reaching $ 2.8 billion in April of last year.

The KakaoTalk app, founded by Kim, has about 52 million users worldwide, according to Bloomberg, and about 90% of the South Korean population uses the app.

Kakao acquired the nation’s # 2 Daum search engine for $ 3.3 billion, in 2014.

Kim is a co-founder of NHN Entertainment, a gaming company affiliated with the nation’s largest search engine Naver, and in 2017, Kim bought Upbit, the nation’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, through his holding company K Cube Ventures.

Founded in 2010, Kakao Corporation has been able to take advantage of social distancing measures, many people have turned to its messaging app, e-commerce platform, and online games.

Kakao Corp’s profit last year was 167.077 billion won ($ 147.7 million), compared to losses of 341.925 billion won ($ 302.29 million) in 2019, according to its financial results posted on its official website.

Co-founder of Reddit expects a revival of sports cards trading

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who also founded the venture capital firm Seven Seven Six and sits on the Alt board, says his new “favorite” cards are a card for his rising champion wife, Serena Williams, in the rookie card category. It is one of only ten cards released.

Usually all sports card enthusiasts have a distinctive card in their deck that differs from other cards. For Lior Avidar, founder and CEO of emerging card trading platform Alt, it is the one of a kind 2008 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant Superfractor Card.

Ohanian Investment Corporation Seven Seven Six led the financing round this past February, along with other investors such as Kevin Durant’s Thirty-Five Ventures, Larry Fitzgerald, Stripe co-founders Patrick and John Collison, as well as First Round Capital and Addition Ventures. SV Angel and BoxGroup led the first pre-investment round.

More than just a hobby, collecting sports cards and memorabilia is sometimes a lucrative investment, with a fast-growing market valued at over $ 10 billion, according to Ken Goldin, founder and CEO of sports auction house Goldin Auctions in New Jersey.

The sector includes many other startups investing in collectibles and memorabilia, but most of them split expensive assets into more acceptable shares. Rally Rd is a big player in the market, allowing investors to buy and sell collections of collectibles, ranging from Lamborghini cars to Birkin handbags, as well as sports cards, and the company has raised about $ 27 million since 2017. There is also a company. Otis, which has raised an estimated $ 14 million in financing since 2019, aims to become the Nasdaq index, but for “culture” assets, according to CEO and founder Michael Carnanaprakorn. The company has about 75,000 customers, with Otis selling shares of trading cards, sneakers, comics and even Western artwork including the $ 75,000 piece of art made from medical bills.

How Warren Buffett used cash to invest in his company’s shares?

Berkshire Hathaway, owned by billionaire Warren Buffett, repurchased its shares (treasury shares) worth $ 24.7 billion in 2020 and said it was about to buy more of its shares in the future, as the giant holding company struggled to find other ways to exploit the enormous cash accumulated in it.

Buffett said on Saturday in his annual letter to investors that the company’s purchase of $ 9 billion in issued shares in the fourth quarter of 2020 was comparable to the record set in the previous quarter.

Buffett’s letter, which has been closely followed for being issued by one of the most famous investors in the world, devoted large parts to the effect of repurchasing of issued shares, in one of Berkshire’s biggest moves to exploit excess liquidity in 2020, because it “has not made any major acquisitions”.

Buffett also touched on the corporate giant’s strategy, and commended commercial activities such as insurance and rail operations in Berkshire.

Buffett has avoided touching on some of the most controversial issues today, including politics, the coronavirus pandemic, and racial equality. But Buffett remained optimistic about America, saying that progress in achieving a “more perfect union” was mixed, but was still moving forward.

Berkshire Hathaway is making little progress in reducing its cash accumulation, which fell by 5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, to $ 138.3 billion.

Buffett has struggled to keep up with the influx in recent years, as Berkshire is disposing of cash faster than it can find higher-yielding assets to seize.

Buffett said that “Apple” is one of the three most important assets in which Berkshire invested at $ 120 billion. The technology company said it plans to buy back its shares as well.

Stock portfolio
Fluctuations in Berkshire’s enormous $ 281.2 billion stock portfolio affect the company’s net income due to accounting technology. This pushed the ratio up 23% to $ 35.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Class A shares in Berkshire rose about 2.4% in 2020, less than a 16% increase in the S&P 500.

The billionaire touched on only briefly the most looming questions about Berkshire’s future, relating to his tenure in the company.

Buffett again referred to the preferred CEO, Mrs. Blumkin, who founded the Nebraska Furniture Mart.

Buffett wrote that Blumkin worked until she turned 103, adding, “It’s ridiculously premature retirement age, as Charlie and I have said,” referring to Charlie Munger, 97, vice president of Berkshire.

Egyptian billionaire Nassif Sawiris agrees to sell “Signature” to private aviation

Informed sources revealed that Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris is expected to accept a $ 4.7 billion acquisition offer for the private aircraft company, Signature Aviation, which is the third-largest shareholder in its capital.

The sources familiar with the negotiations added that “NNS”, the investment arm of the Sawiris family in international markets, is scheduled to sell its 7.42% stake in the world’s largest operator of private aircraft bases to a consortium led by “Blackstone Group” and “Global Infrastructure Partners”. Until Sawiris may announce his support for the deal this week.

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The sources, who requested anonymity due to the privacy of the discussions, believed that this step would contribute to ending a months-long battle to acquire the world’s largest private aircraft operator, as the alliance “Blackstone” and “Global”, the two former competitors for the deal, earlier this month And they raised the acquisition bid to $ 5.62 a share, and with this increase, they got the support of Signature management.

After that, the “Carlisle Group”, which was considering a counter-offer, announced last week that it would hold back from the deal, choosing instead to acquire one of the units of “Signature”.

With Sawiris’ approval, Blackstone and Global’s latest bid to acquire the private airline, which has the backing of billionaire Bill Gates, the largest shareholder in Signature, is likely to succeed.

Elon Musk defends Tesla’s investment in Bitcoin and maintains that it is better than holding the cash

Billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, the US company specializing in the manufacture of electric cars, defended his company’s recent $ 1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin, stressing that Bitcoin is slightly better than keeping cash.

Mask and digital currencies
Bitcoin recently hit record levels, reaching $ 52,533,000, as investors rushed to buy the cryptocurrency after Tesla announced that it had invested $ 1.5 billion in it.

The price of Bitcoin decreased by about 1% to $ 51,613 thousand, at 06:06 GMT Friday morning, and the market value of the digital currency decreased 0.95% to record $ 969.6 billion, but it is close to $ 1 trillion.

Bitcoin currently controls 60.41% of the digital currency market, according to CoinMarketCap, which tracks prices of 8,416 digital currencies.
Tesla also purchased $ 800 million worth of Bitcoin in January, according to Reuters, citing a Reddit user who says he works for the company.

Musk tweeted in mid-February on his Twitter account, showing his support for the holders of the digital currency Dogecoin to sell their currencies, which pushed the price up, and continued: I will pay a dollar if they cancel their accounts.
Dogecoin’s price has now increased 4.95% to $ 0.05537 while the best price it has ever recorded was $ 0.08495.

To break the white monopoly … the first black woman to establish a solar energy company

Kristal Hansley started her green energy business, which was made available by car dealers, after she had just finished working on Capitol Hill in the summer of 2017, and then began working in a Chevy agency outside Baltimore, in the United States.

Hansley was the only black woman in the showroom, and her co-workers, most of them white men, were more interested in selling Corvettes and Silverados than in the electric cars on display. That’s why Hansley created its niche to focus on electric vehicles, achieving dozens of sales of models every month.

“It was a defining moment when I understood that customers could benefit from green discounts and other incentives offered to stimulate electric vehicles, and they are often wealthy people,” Hansley says.

Last year, the 32-year-old founded WeSolar, a company focused on community solar energy that, despite being a startup, is a fast growing industry in the industry. The company focuses on “virtual solar energy” as it is sometimes called, to provide private rooftop installations and manage solar projects.

These projects provide energy to families and companies from small solar farms, instead of relying on panels on the roofs, and customers buy stakes in them and get credit from their monthly utility bills based on their usage.

An ethnic divide in clean energy
Hansley is considered the first black woman in the United States to run a community solar energy project, but she aims to be more than just a champion in the field of clean energy, in addition to all the advantages of green energy, it is in fact an area where racism is entrenched. The solar field has a starkly white trend, from the availability of fixtures to high-income households who primarily reap the benefits of private rooftop panels.

All the while, disadvantaged neighborhoods of people with diverse ethnic backgrounds suffer disproportionately from fossil fuel pollution and climate change risks. Hansley believes that her mission is to achieve some parity between the affluent neighborhoods and these slums in terms of access to clean energy through community solar energy and a subscription system.

Hansley, who founded her startup on June 19, the day the end of slavery in the United States, says there is a gap in the exploitation of clean energy. As protests over racial justice were taking place across the country last year, she asked, “Why not build a bridge to connect with these communities that have been left to die?”

Community solar projects are a small part of the solar industry, but they could play a big role in the race towards a low-carbon economy. Traditionally, rooftop solar is sold to a specific group of people, including homeowners who are highly creditable and can afford the initial investment.

For low- and middle-income residents, the discounts offered vary by company, utility and country. In Maryland, for example, such customers can get a 50% higher discount than other residents, says the trade group and Hansley says that “it’s a crime for people not to know about it.”

Expansion of community energy projects
136 kilometers north of New York City, on the outskirts of Poughkeepsie in the Hudson Valley, dozens of rows of blue solar panels cover a 17-acre field. It is surrounded by dense woods and the Catskill Mountains insight. It has about 8,800 panels, all of which tend to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. This solar farm, which is considered one of the largest in New York and is run by “ClearWay Energy”, produces 2 megawatts of electricity, which is enough for about 500 homes, half of which goes to low and middle-income people.

Community solar farms typically cover 10-25 acres of land, each generating between 2 and 5 megawatts of energy, which is enough for 350-900 homes, according to the Community Solar Energy Alliance.

Co-founder of Bumble becomes the world’s youngest billionaire thanks to the IPO

Whitney Wolf-Heard ended Thursday with a net worth of $ 1.5 billion according to Bumble’s stock closing at $ 70.31 Updated at 7 p.m. ET.

The initial public offering
The stock price of Bumble Dating rose in its first public offering on Thursday, making the founder and CEO of 31-year-old Whitney Wolf-Heard the youngest self-made billionaire in the world. Its 12% stake in the company was valued at nearly $ 1.6 billion as of 12:40 p.m. ET Thursday.
Bumble Corporation’s stock opened trading at $ 76 a share, which is well above the IPO price of $ 43 a share. The company began its first trading hours after the markets opened on Thursday.

Wolfheard owns 21.54 million shares in Bumble, equivalent to 11.6% of the company, according to the Bumble IPO prospectus. Wolf-Heard is also the youngest CEO ever to lead a company in the United States to go public.
Bumble is the second major dating app to go public, after the public offering of Match Group, the parent company of Match.com, in 2015. The Match Group attempted to buy the company from Wolf Heard in 2017 for $ 450 million. Bumble’s market cap was at $ 8.6 billion based on $ 76 a share early Thursday afternoon. Match group has a market value of $ 45 billion, which also owns the dating app Tinder.

Bumble recorded revenues of $ 417 million in the first nine months of 2020, up from $ 363 million in revenue for the corresponding period in 2019. The Match Group recorded revenues of $ 1.7 billion in the first nine months of 2020 versus 1.5 billion. Dollars in the same period of the previous year. The Austin company raised $ 2.2 billion from its IPO. The company will use most of the money raised to buy or redeem shares from the company’s owners prior to the IPO, especially Blackstone Private Equity, which owned about 91% of the company prior to the offering, and Wolf Heard. The prospectus also shows a $ 120 million loan, which the company provided to Wolf Heard in January 2020, which was settled a year later in exchange for Wolf-Heard ceding $ 95.5 million of Bumble’s shares.

Bumble app
Wolf-Heard founded Bumble in 2014, shortly after she filed a lawsuit against Tinder, her former employer, for sexual harassment. Wolf-Heard in the lawsuit alleged that her former boss and boyfriend, Justin Mattin, had sent her threats and derogatory texts and stripped her of the title of the co-founder of the Tinder app. The app denied any wrongdoing, and the case was settled quickly and discreetly.

After leaving Tinder, Wolf-Heard worked with the London-based Russian billionaire Andrei Andreev, who was building successful online dating apps to work in the European and Latin American markets, to start the Bumble app. Bumble gives women the exclusive power to take the first step, a factor that sets it apart from Tinder and other online dating apps.

Andreev exited his investment in the company in November 2019, four months after Forbes published an investigation that discovered an anti-women atmosphere in the London office, led by Andreev, to put his presence in conflict with the app’s slogan on empowering women.
The company denied the majority of the allegations and launched an internal investigation led by British law firm Doyle Clayton, which concluded that “the main allegation made by the Forbes article that there is currently an anti-women atmosphere in the London office is untrue. However, the investigation identified a small number of current and former employees Who feel that there are “sexist elements” in the company.

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