If Best Buy Stays Public, Stock Could Become a Strong Buy

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As usual, short-term noise drives stock prices. It's really quite absurd when you consider how it happens.

Consider Best Buy ( BBY).

Founder Richard Schulze announces he'll attempt to take the company private. Stock goes up. The media reports a setback. Stock goes down. Yesterday, we get word that Schulze and his investors are forging ahead with their plan and could pay up to $11 billion to take control of Best Buy. Stock goes up.

If you're a long-term investor, stay a mile or two away from the crowd on this one. Don't chase a stock that traders move on the basis of volatile news they know nothing about.

Put BBY on your watch list. And wait until the dust settles before making any decisions.

Let me tell you something straight up. I don't know a whole lot about the ins and outs of this potential bid by Schulze. However, I know the way this company intends to proceed long-term, private or public, better than most others who cover the stock.

Pay close attention to the wording of a press release Best Buy put out on Wednesday:

Best Buy Hires Top Global Technology Talent

Best Buy today announced that Scott Durchslag has been named senior vice president Best Buy and president Online and Global e-Commerce ... Durchslag will report to Stephen Gillett, president Digital, Global Marketing and Strategy (bold emphasis added).

In the PR, Gillett lauded Durchslag: He's a seasoned tech veteran whose passion, talent and experience will add tremendous value to Best Buy as we build upon the broader digital and online experience for our customers. Note: Keyword -- "tech."

Compare the contents of the Best Buy press release, particularly the focus on "technology," with recent articles I have written on the company: Best Buy May Have Already Found Its New CEO (May 23.) Why Best Buy Might Follow in Yahoo!'s Footsteps (July 18.) Best Buy's Curious and Controversial CEO Move (Aug. 22.)

While Gillett did not get the CEO gig, it's abundantly clear that Best Buy has loaded him with a level of responsibility that makes it safe to assume he, at the very least, co-runs the company with the current (potentially lame duck) board and new CEO Hubert Joly.

When Best Buy lured Gillett away from Starbucks ( SBUX), where he was head of digital ventures and CIO, I connected the dots. It was clear Best Buy was set to shift from an old and failed retail mindset to thinking more like a tech company. More like innovative brands such as Starbucks, Lululemon ( LULU) and Apple ( AAPL).

I'm shocked more people did not make the connection.

In any event, Durchslag reads like a solid hire. He comes from Expedia ( EXPE) where he was president. Prior to that, he was the COO at Skype. He has Web 2.0 written all over him. That's precisely what Best Buy needs -- young tech guys like Gillett and Durchslag, not retail lifers.

It's key to note that Gillett likely has Schulze's support. The former chairman played a major role in hiring him. That, however, doesn't mean a thing to investors because Schulze will likely only become a player again if Best Buy goes private.

I hope the company stays public and continues on its current track, minus the overhang of the persistent short-term noise. If that happens, it might be time to accumulate shares on a reactionary dip on news of no buyout.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Rocco Pendola is a private investor with nearly 20 years experience in various forms of media, ranging from radio to print. His work has appeared in academic journals as well as dozens of online and offline publications. He uses his broad experience to help inform his coverage of the stock market, primarily in the technology, Internet and new media spaces. He has taken a long-term approach to investing, focusing on dividend-paying stocks, since he opened his first account as a teenager. Pendola, 37, is based in Santa Monica, Calif., where he lives with his wife and child.

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