Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI) reports its Q1 2007 numbers tomorrow. The obvious question: Will investors stand and applaud, or hurl rotten tomatoes? (Come to think of it, I've never been to a theater that permitted bringing your own food into it, and certainly not rotting vegetables. Wouldn't "stale popcorn topped with rancid butter" be the more likely missile of choice?)

After the news comes out, we'll have time aplenty to dissect it. But in these few hours before we begin obsessing over Blockbuster'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 28,000 investors for their views on more than 4,000 companies, Blockbuster among them. Here's what Fools have to say about the company.

Up or down?
More than 800 investors have submitted opinions on Blockbuster. The verdict: Something's up... but it's not two thumbs.

Fewer than 50% of CAPS investors think Blockbuster will outperform the market -- a virtual crapshoot. Worse, among our very best investors, the CAPS All-Stars, Blockbuster's approval rating drops with a sickening thud to 33%. No surprise here: Blockbuster gets just one star out of a possible five on CAPS.

That makes Blockbuster one of the least popular spinoffs in recent memory. Here's how it ranks among its CAPS peers:

Spin-off group

CAPS rating

Chipotle (NYSE:CMG-B)


Avis Budget (NYSE:CAR)




Coach (NYSE:COH)


New York & Co (NYSE:NWY)


Realogy (NYSE:H)




Wall Street vs. Main Street
So far, it seems Wall Street is no more (or less) aware of Blockbuster's prospects than the average CAPS investor. Just as on Main Street, buy and sell ratings among the analysts tracked on CAPS are split 50-50. I guess you can't blame them, though. After all, over the last 52 weeks, Blockbuster has beaten the market pretty handily, outperforming the S&P 500 by a good 18 points. It's hard to get too down on a company with a record like that.

Bull pitch
I'm giving over today's bull pitch entirely to the current tied-for-top-rated Fool, who bucks the tide of negativity at Blockbuster. "Will [Blockbuster] derail Netflix's growth? I think so. They finally seem to have found their niche, with a combination of online and in-store rentals."

Bear pitch
Weighed against the "Top Fool's" optimism, we find a whole host of bearish comments on Blockbuster. These range from general griping over service encountered at the company's stores, to competitive threats from Netflix, Apple, YouTube, and video on demand, to more quantifiable complaints over the firm's massive debt load, which makes it harder for Blockbuster to compete with the nimbler, clean-sheeted Netflix.

Who said that?
To learn the identities of the wise Fools who penned these thoughts, 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. Chipotle and New York & Co. are Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendations. Chipotle is also a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Netflix is a Stock Advisor pick. You can find Rich on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked 296th out of more than 28,000 raters. The Fool has a disclosure policy.