Mega media mogul Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) reports its Q1 2007 numbers tomorrow morning. Will the report receive as much critical acclaim as first greeted the AOL merger? Will it turn out as badly?

After the news comes out, we'll have time aplenty to dissect it. But in these few hours before we begin obsessing over Time Warner'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 well over 4,000 companies, Time Warner among them. Here's what Fools have to say about the company.

Up or down?
More than 600 investors have submitted opinions on Time Warner. The verdict: Ho-hum.

Fully 87% of CAPS investors think Time Warner will outperform the market, an endorsement that suffers only a little as we drill down to the opinions of the CAPS All-Stars -- 86% of whom give Time Warner the thumbs-up. Merge the two results, run them through our CAPS black box, and Time Warner comes out with three stars out of a possible five.

As you might expect, that puts Time Warner squarely in the middle of the pack of its CAPS peers:

Media Group

CAPS Rating

Viacom (NYSE:VIA)


Disney (NYSE:DIS)


News Corp (NYSE:NWS)


Time Warner


The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO)


New York Times (NYSE:NYT)


XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR)


Wall Street vs. Main Street
Over on Wall Street, in contrast, the bulls run rampant. Of the professional stock pickers we track, the score runs to 13-and-0 in Time Warner's favor. Quite a margin of victory when you think of it. The company has only outperformed the S&P 500 by about five points over the last 52 weeks -- hardly justifying such a blowout.

Bull pitch
Bulls lament the media's obsession with Time Warner's bungled AOL merger, and that division's continued decline. Meanwhile, they keep their eyes firmly fixed on the conglomerate's "television, movie, print and production businesses" -- and cable -- and like what they see.

Bear pitch
My favorite bearish rant against Time Warner in CAPS leads off like this: "This company never fails to not impress." You'd think it couldn't get better than that -- but it does. "In the last 30 years they've blown enough opportunities for any ten similar size companies. They lost control over portions of their film library in the mid-20th century and had to buy out Turner to get it all back. They sold Atari for pennies on the dollar..." And on and on. Not exactly an argument based in "past performance is no guarantee ..." but valid criticisms nonetheless.

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.

Time Warner and Disney are Stock Advisor  recommendations. New York Times is a former Income Investor selection.

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 296th out of more than 28,000 raters. The Fool has a disclosure policy.