LCA-Vision (NASDAQ:LCAV) reports its Q1 2007 earnings tomorrow. Whether the company meets, beats, or misses guidance, one thing's for sure: they won't be announcing a dearth of nearsighted patients just yet.

After the news comes out, we'll have time aplenty to dissect it. But before we begin obsessing over LCA'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, LCA among them. Here's what Fools have to say about the company.

Up or down?
More than 400 investors have submitted opinions on LCA. The verdict: The future's so bright, we gotta buy shades. Or shares. Either one.

96% of CAPS investors polled say they love the stock, a figure exceeded only by the endorsements of our stable of CAPS All-Stars -- 97% of whom give LCA the thumbs-up. That's more than enough to give this stock the highest possible CAPS rating, five stars.

Among its doctoring peers on CAPS, LCA is top of the heap:

Medical Practitioners Group

CAPS Rating



Health Grades (NASDAQ:HGRD)


Transcend Services (NASDAQ:TRCR)




Metropolitan Health Networks (AMEX:MDF)


Radiation Therapy (NASDAQ:RTSX)


(And in case you're wondering, yes, LCA also beats out three-starred archrival TLC Vision (NASDAQ:TLCV), which for some reason hasn't been tagged as part of this group.)

Wall Street vs. Main Street
Somebody forgot to tell Wall Street about all the hubbub on CAPS, however. The two analysts that we track, as they track LCA, split their votes evenly between buy and sell. Not that you can blame them for their pessimism -- LCA's 37-percentage-point underperformance of the S&P 500 over the last 52 weeks would try anyone's patience.

Bull pitch / bear pitch two-fer
In a Before the Call first, the top-ranked Bull pitcher also happens to have the best Bear argument on record. At the risk of making this otherwise All-Star investor sound a bit schizophrenic, here's what he has to say:

"I like this company. Good growth, profits, even a dividend! What's not to like?

"One thing I can think of. The everlasting gobstopper theory. It seems if you open such a shop only so many people will come in to get their eyes fixed. If they come back, it's probably because something went wrong. For example, if there are 10,000 people in a community and 2,000 have bad eyesight and wish for correction, they show up, the company makes a boatload, and then what? Wait around for children to develop poor vision?

"My advice here: watch same store comparisons closely. It seems they've already had some problems with this. They blame their marketing effort, but a good Fool should keep his/her laser sharp eyes open. Watch that trend to see if this model is sustainable. I believe they can run with it for a good while since there's such a vast number of people who would like this procedure. I don't, however, know anyone who has had it twice."

Who said that?
The bears couldn't have said it better themselves. (And in fact, this time, they didn't.) To learn the identity of the level-headed Fool with the 82.76 CAPS rating 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. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 530 out of more than 28,000 raters. LCA-Vision is a Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy can see clearly now, the rain is gone.