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Third Avenue Management Comments on Toyota

June 06, 2014 | About:

Perhaps because it has "Toyota" (NYSE:TM) in its name or perhaps because it spun out Toyota Motor years ago, many people view Toyota industries as largely an automotive parts type company. it is, but also derives around 50% of operating income from its material handling equipment business, where it is the global market share leader. The company also has a logistics segment and a textiles machinery business. The company is profitable and growing and, furthermore, has an attractive investment securities portfolio, the value of which exceeds Toyota industries' current market value. The businesses are separable but not likely saleable (perhaps if it were not a Japanese company). Changes in corporate governance are afoot in Japan. The government is working on new corporate governance rules requiring independent directors, or in the absence of that, an explanation of deviations. Further, Japan is working on a Stewardship Code to encourage institutional investors to disclose their proxy votes and engage in dialogue with companies on issues that could impact long-term share value. a new stock index, the JpX- Nikkei 400, highlights this new focus. To be included in the index, companies must meet certain corporate governance and profitability requirements.

From Third Avenue Management (Trades, Portfolio)'s second quarter 2014 shareholder letter.

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