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SYY) has been putting food on your table for years -- even if you didn't know it. If you've eaten out in the last month, there's a good chance the food, napkins or silverware came off of a Sysco truck. The firm is the biggest name in North American food distribution, providing everything from ingredients to par-cooked entrees to services such as menu analysis to 400,000 restaurants, hotels and institutional dining facilities.
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While celebrity chefs fix restaurants on TV, Sysco is doing the same for its own customers on a much bigger scale. Service offerings such as business reviews, menu analysis and safety training all foster stronger relationships with SYY -- and act as an attractive revenue stream that isn't squeezed by rising commodity prices. Still, Sysco's bread and butter (so to speak) is food. From a food service standpoint, it makes sense to turn to a supplier like Sysco; after all, the firm can take many of the costs and food safety concerns off of a restaurateur's plate, helping profitability down the line as well.
Like Liberty, Sysco's approach to growth over the years has been through acquisitions. While that's left the firm with some balance sheet leverage, the firm's debt to capital ratio weighs in at 0.4 -- hardly a concern right now, since operating income covers interest roughly 17 times over. Still, shorts are piled high in this stock, ramping its days short to 10.66.
That makes Sysco a short squeeze candidate this summer.