There's no two ways about it: Gold bugs dig Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY). But is good news in the vein for the Toronto miner's earnings release tomorrow?

We'll have time aplenty to dissect the specific numbers later this week. But before we begin obsessing over Yamana's short-term progress, let's use these last few pre-earnings hours to review what investors think about it as a long-term investment. Our tool in this endeavor is Motley Fool CAPS, where we poll nearly 100,000 investors for their views on more than 5,600 companies. Here's what Fools have to say about Yamana and its long-term prospects.

Up or down?
More than 2,500 investors have submitted ratings on Yamana. Their verdict: This one glitters so bright, you gotta wear shades.              

Some 97% of CAPS investors who clocked in with an opinion expect Yamana to beat the market; 98% of the CAPS All-Stars who chimed in give it a thumbs-up. No surprise, therefore, that it's at the head of the pack:

Gold Group

CAPS Rating (five max)

Yamana Gold




Golden Star Resources  (AMEX: GSS)


Barrick Gold  (NYSE: ABX)


Agnico-Eagle Mines  (NYSE: AEM)


Goldcorp (NYSE: GG)


AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU)


Wall Street vs. Main Street
And if you think we mere mortal investors are optimistic, check out what Wall Street is saying. Of the six analysts who've made a buy/sell call on Yamana, every man jack of them calls Yamana a buy.

Bull pitch
Checking our CAPS thermometer, we find the top-rated pitcher on the stock enjoying the recent "rush" away from gold. goofypicker writes:

Many speculators are [panicking] and claiming that this is the end of the "commodity bubble". I don't think so. If you look at the fundamental reason behind the last 6 months rise in precious metals, you have to ask yourself ... has anything changed? I don't think so. The Fed continues to pump liquidity into the market, the interest rate continues to decline, inflation continues to increase and the dollar continues to fall. That being said ... if due to demand decreases oil drops sharply from here ... there is a possibility that precious metals will follow. Precious metals will experience quite a bit of volatility and the gyrations may be tough to handle but I think due to the fundamentals that ... a year from now precious metals will be much higher.

Then again, goofypicker ranks among the bottom 20% of investors as scored by CAPS. Let's see what the voice of experience (or at least performance) has to say:

Bear pitch
CAPS All-Star UncommonSense picks up the contrarian standard and charges ahead, exclaiming:

The psychology of the masses is unbelievable. Company trading with P/E of 53? What is it? Did they design some new revolutionary product? Maybe a substitute for gasoline? No. Actually, they just mine a shiny metal out of the ground. So, who cares if the shiny metal is worth $1000 an ounce. Once the economy is back on its feet (give it 12-18 months) gold will plummet just like it always has when the country comes out of a recession. ... The herd is marching up the ramp of the slaughterhouse. Do you really want to follow?

Gold sure is purty, but gee, when you put it that way, UncommonSense, I'm not sure that I do want to follow.

Who said that?
To learn more about the Fools who penned these words and to 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. 655 out of more than 100,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.