Before the Call: Fantastic FedEx

Aiming to "put a bow" on its second straight year of nothing but earnings beats, package-delivery specialist FedEx (NYSE: FDX  ) reports fiscal Q4 and full-year 2007 results tomorrow.

After the news comes out, we'll have time aplenty to dissect it. But in these few hours before we begin obsessing over FedEx's short-term progress, let's take a moment to review what investors think about the package-delivery company as a long-term investment. Our tool in this endeavor: Motley Fool CAPS, where we poll more than 30,000 investors for their views on well more than 4,000 companies, FedEx included. Here's what Fools have to say about it.

Up or down?
Nearly 1,300 investors have submitted ratings on FedEx. Their verdict: "Relax. It's FedEx."

96% of CAPS investors expect FedEx to outperform the market, but the very best investors -- our CAPS All-Stars -- feel more reticent, giving the stock "just" 94% approval. But that's still good enough to earn the stock four stars out of a possible five on CAPS.

Within the freight delivery category on CAPS, FedEx is tied with almost everybody else for second place:

Freight Delivery Group

CAPS Rating

Celadon Group (Nasdaq: CLDN  )

*****

FedEx

****

ABX Air (Nasdaq: ABXA  )

****

EGL (Nasdaq: EAGL  )

****

Expeditors International (Nasdaq: EXPD  )

****

UTI Worldwide (Nasdaq: UTIW  )

****

UPS (NYSE: UPS  )

***

Wall Street vs. Main Street
Up on Wall Street, where people know a bit more about investing (or so they tell us), the professionals are more cautious still. Out of 10 analysts polled, only eight expect FedEx to deliver superior results. Of course, the fact that the stock has underperformed the S&P by 21 percentage points over the last 52 weeks may be contributing to their less-optimistic outlook.

Bull pitch
Today's bull pitch on FedEx comes from none other than Fool co-founder David Gardner, or TMFBreakerDave, who writes:

FedEx is beautifully positioned to benefit from global prosperity. Global prosperity is one of my favorite trends. Overnight shipping of documents, gifts, e-commerce, b-to-b commerce, etc. is a macrotrend ... China is awakening. India is coming online strong. FedEx is the cream of the crop of its industry, and its founder Fred Smith is one of my favorite business leaders....

Bear pitch
As to the bear pitch, sure, there are better, more reasoned analyses of FedEx, but can you blame me for picking this particular bearish pitch to feature today? Even if you can, Pete Seeger fans will understand. Strum the guitar and sing along, Fools:

Where has all the free cash gone?
Long time passing/
Where has all the free cash gone?
Long time ago/
Where has all the free cash gone?
Gone to fuel bills every one/
When will they ever learn/
When will they ever learn.

Who said that?
To learn the identity of the wise Fool who penned (well, adapted) those thoughts, and to explore the plethora of additional financial data we've put together on the company, just click here.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 1,654 out of more than 30,000 raters. FedEx is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. UPS is an Income Investor pick. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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