In its short life as a public company, the New York Stock Exchange, a.k.a. NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX), has (almost) done the (next to) impossible. With the exception of one small slip at the end of 2006, it's never missed an earnings estimate. Tomorrow, before "the markets" open, the world's biggest stock market opens up on its latest roll of the dice.

We'll have time aplenty to dissect the specific numbers after the news is out. But before we begin obsessing over NYSE's short-term progress, let's use these last few hours 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 100,000 investors for their views on well over 5,600 companies, NYSE included. Here's what Fools have to say about the company and its long-term prospects.

Up or down?
More than 2,100 investors have submitted ratings on NYSE. Their verdict: "Buy-buy-buy!"

Of the CAPS investors who've examined NYSE, 97% like what they see, making this one of the most-loved exchanges in the world:

Exchanges Group

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

NYSE Euronext


Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: NDAQ)




IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE)


NYMEX Holdings (NYSE: NMX)


Wall Street vs. Main Street
And if you think we mere mortals are bullish on NYSE, you should see what the investing demigods on Wall Street have to say about it. The nine analysts who've taken buy/sell positions on the stock unanimously endorse NYSE.

Bull pitch
The top-rated pitch in favor of NYSE likes the way this company shares the wealth. CAPS All-Star drschitt points out that: "NYSE [recently] announces 1 billion buyback in common stock. It also increases dividend 20% to $1.20 per share. All on top of solid 4th quarter results highlighted by revenues rocketing 79%." drschitt asks: "What is not to like with this stock?"

Um, how about these facts: The stock trades for 25 times trailing earnings; these GAAP earnings overstate free cash flow by 23%; and 21% growth estimates may prove a tad optimistic in the middle of a recession. Oh, wait, that was a rhetorical question ...

Bear pitch
Apparently also failing to realize the rhetorical nature of drschitt's inquiry, NetscribeFinServ embraces the anti-NYSE argument in an enormous (four paragraphs in all) bear hug. A sampling:

The company has a big disadvantage of not being able to trade electronically, instantaneously and anonymously. ... The attitude of the management has been to go for acquisitions with a sole motive of achieving sheer size without having any strategic benefit attached to it. The group has its own set of problems ranging from intense competition primarily from NASDAQ, integration challenges and decrease in trading volumes.

Who said that?
To learn more about the wise Fools who penned these words, examine their records (and see whether they know whereof they speak), and to explore the plethora of additional financial data we've put together on the company, just click here.

NYSE Euronext is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Nasdaq Stock Market is an Inside Value pick. Try both of these market-beating publications 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 currently ranked No. 908 out of more than 100,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.