Hmm. E-A-R-N-I-N-G-S. Click.

G-O-O-G-L-E. Click.

Q-1. Click.

Well whaddya, know? Says here that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) reports its Q1 2007 numbers tomorrow!

After the news comes out, we'll have time a-plenty to dissect it. But in these few hours before we begin obsessing over Google's short-term progress, let's take a moment to review what investors think about it as a long-term investment. Our tool in this endeavor: Motley Fool CAPS, where we poll more than 27,000 investors for their views on more than 4,000 companies, Google among them. Here's what Fools have to say about the company.

Up or down?
Nearly 4,700 investors have submitted opinions on Google, the third-most-rated stock in all of CAPS-land. The verdict: Run for your life.

Only 65% of the CAPS investors who've rated Google think the company will outperform the market -- the lowest percentage of any company discussed in this column to date. And when you drill down among that group for the opinions of our very best investors, CAPS All-Stars, endorsements slide to 60%. Little wonder, then, that under the CAPS rating system, Google is just a one-star stock.

Worse, even within its CAPS peer group, Google sits at the bottom of the barrel:

Internet Information Providers

CAPS rating









Bankrate (NASDAQ:RATE)


Wall Street vs. Main Street
Yet when you ask those who supposedly know the most about investing -- professional analysts -- they practically gush over Google, giving it 33 buy ratings versus just two sells. That's a pretty strong endorsement for a company that's outperformed the S&P 500 by less than 5% over the past year.

Brass tacks
Why is Wall Street as bullish on Google as CAPS investors are bearish? Let's listen in:

Bull pitch
The top bull pitch on CAPS sings the Street's song: "Google ... has a prime goal of organizing and delivering any information people will think of want/need. They began construction on the largest information storage facility in history, and I have a strong feeling that in a couple of years, Google will house just about every bit of data that exists in the [Internet] on [its] own machines, which will be superpowerful at that ... and be able to advertise, deliver, and exceed the scope of what everyone thought was possible. I see this stock hitting $1000 by 2010."

Bear pitch
The bears respond by listing a litany of familiar fears: "Click Fraud. Wiki information searches. Divulging their relevance criteria and information linkage models allows people to [work] the system too easily." And let's not forget that P/E of 47.

Who said that?
To learn the identities of the wise Fools who penned these words, and 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 ranked 284th out of more than 27,000 raters. CNET,, and Bankrate are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. Yahoo! is a Stock Advisor choice. The Fool has a disclosure policy.