Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) remains the biggest threat in almost every industry today. From cloud computing to grocery stores, from brick-and-mortar retail to digital advertising, Amazon continues to expand market share and build revenue in every corner of its operations.
That has many people wondering if there is such a thing as an "Amazon-proof" industry. There may not be a sector that isn't threatened, but there are plenty of companies that have built a moat around their business to protect them from the threat of Amazon.
And we've found one "Amazon-proof" company that could be one of the best buys on the market today. If you get in on this company today, you can score an easy 30% gain over the next 12 months.
Let's take a look...
Finding an "Amazon-Proof" Stock
Amazon made a huge splash in 2017 with the purchase of grocery giant Whole Foods. The company's expansion into the grocery retail space pummeled rivals like Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. (NYSE: NGVC) and Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
Meanwhile, markets have also punished firms in the food service distribution space. Since the purchase of Whole Foods, many investors believed that Amazon would push further down the grocery supply chain in order to consolidate operations and contain costs.
Back in June 2017, CNBC rang the alarm saying that Amazon's entry into the space was inevitable.
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But if this were to happen, the firm would likely need to buy a distribution company instead of building operations from scratch. As investment firm Guggenheim explains, food service is a much different business than traditional supply chain operations.
The business "requires a separate, dedicated supply chain as well as a field-level salesforce to market to independent accounts," Guggenheim writes. "There is significant variance in these accounts, since it requires a large amount of fresh food processing."
In other words, Amazon's impressive logistics operation won't be able to handle fresh food distribution without a significant buildup.
Today's food service distributors are building their market share in a highly competitive environment, which means they aren't threatened by Amazon.
These firms typically have strong free cash flow, which is used to expand through M&A, extract value, and reduce costs.
And one food industry stock just popped up as a "Buy" on our screener...
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The stock to buy is US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE: USFD), a company aggressively building up its operations to bolster market share. Last quarter, US Foods Holding Corp. purchased five food distributors from Food Services of America Inc. for $1.8 billion.
US Foods Holding Corp. is a diversified food distributor that markets and sells fresh, frozen, and dry food and non-food products to foodservice companies across the United States. Its customer base includes restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and motels, country clubs, government and military organizations, colleges and universities, and retail locations.
That is a large, diversified customer base that a company like Amazon would need to build from scratch or purchase. Now, there are a handful of other attributes that we're looking for when we buy a stock. First, the cash-rich company has an F score of 9, signally healthy financial operations.
But more important, it has a VQScore of 4.
If you aren't aware of the Money Morning Stock VQScore™, our proprietary system ranks the 1,500 most profitable publicly traded firms according to their breakout potential. When we screen VQScore stocks trading at must-buy prices, we can identify the top stocks with real growth potential.
A score of 4 is the highest score possible in our system.
Over the next 12 months, the Yahoo Finance consensus analyst rating projects the USFD stock price will climb to $38.64 per share.
That's a potential profit of 30.23%.
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