NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Best Buy (BBY) - Get Free Report were higher in mid-afternoon trading on Wednesday as the Richfield, MN-based electronics retailer reportedly plans to ramp up its stock of virtual reality products.
The move is being labeled as the first mainstream test of virtual reality products, Bloomberg reports. BestBuy already markets Facebook's (FB) Oculus Rift at many of its stores, but it now plans to have them in 500 stores for the holiday shopping season.
Additionally, BestBuy is running 200 demos for Sony's (SNE) PlayStation VR, which is slated for release in October.
Until now, virtual reality products have been primarily marketed to tech junkies, but BestBuy is hoping VR technology will catch the eye of regular U.S. consumers, Bloomberg noted. The company is also eager to find a new blockbuster product after continuously slow sales.
In a recent conference call, BestBuy CEO Hubert Joly said virtual reality "has the potential to contribute to our growth," but it's unlikely to generate a material impact on results this year.
Joly has boosted earnings at the chain by cutting costs and shaving overseas operations, which contributed to its higher-than-expected second quarter results earlier this week.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
We rate BEST BUY CO INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: