And now, friends, the moment you've all been waiting for: NYSE-newcomer Visa (NYSE: V) makes its first-ever earnings report as a public company.

What's that? You've never heard of Visa? Well, take a weekend and read up on what Fools are saying about it before the earnings come out Monday afternoon. Our tool in this endeavor: Motley Fool CAPS, where we poll nearly 100,000 investors for their views on well over 5,000 companies, this Visa character among them. Here's what Fools have to say about the company and its long-term prospects.

Up or down?
Visa's been public barely a month, yet more than 2,300 investors have already submitted ratings on it. And what do they say? "Visa: It's everything we'd hoped it would be. Almost." The stock scores four out of five possible CAPS stars, and 95% of our CAPS investors expect it to beat the market.

Also worth noting is that Visa currently rates higher than any other major credit card company on the planet. Don't believe me? See for yourself:

Credit Card Group

CAPS Rating (Out of 5)



American Express (NYSE: AXP)


Bank of America (NYSE: BAC)


JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM)


MasterCard (NYSE: MA)


Discover Financial (NYSE: DFS)


Capital One (NYSE: COF)


Wall Street vs. Main Street
If our CAPS investors show just a little suspiciousness about Visa, then Wall Street looks positively paranoid by comparison. With only a half-dozen analysts venturing buy/sell advice on Visa, one naysayer suffices to drop professional approval to 83%.

Bull pitch
The top-rated CAPS pitch for Visa draws a direct parallel between the performance of IPO predecessor MasterCard and Visa's likely trajectory. Says loststallion38:

Mastercard launched last year at $39.00 a share and it stands at over $200.00 a share. It's not everyday that you can get in on the ground floor of the big daddy business but here is your chance. Visa is the power house in the credit card world and is just plain fat in cash. It lives on transactions all over the world from Debit and Credit cards. ...Visa will only grow as we move to a cashless society.

Bear pitch
But flip the credit card over, and you'll find etfwinner complaining:

Visa just picked the wrong time for an IPO. The credit crunch hasn't even begun, as I see it, and there will be no doing business the way we've always been doing it, for a while. It's an attractive stock, to be sure, and in the long run will be a winner. but for a while, I think a few fortunes are going to be lost.

These two pitches appear to agree that in the long run, Visa's a winner. They just differ on Visa's valuation today -- and in that debate, I'm running with the bears. Judging from Yahoo! estimates, the stock is already trading for almost 40 times next year's earnings, yet most analysts expect Visa to grow its profits at no more than 15% per year over the next half-decade. My advice? Leave home without it.

Who said that?
To learn the identities of the wise Fools who penned these words, and to explore the plethora of additional financial data we've put together on the company, head to our CAPS Visa page.

American Express and Discover Financial are Inside Value recommendations. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are Income Investor picks. MasterCard is a former Inside Value pick. Try out any of our investing services free for 30 days.

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 No. 1,781 out of more than 97,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.