For four quarters running, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has defied investors' pessimism and produced earnings results that have beaten analyst estimates, fears over the effects of its price war with AMD (NYSE:AMD) notwithstanding. Intel gets its next chance to try rocking the cynics tomorrow, when second-quarter 2007 earnings are released.

After the news comes out, we'll have time aplenty to dissect it. But in these few hours before we begin obsessing over Intel'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 60,000 investors for their views on more than 4,000 companies, Intel among them. Here's what Fools have to say about it.

Up or down?
More than 3,000 investors have submitted ratings on Intel, making it the 14th-most rated stock in all of CAPS-land. Their verdict: The blue men were pretty cool, but the stock? Not so much.

Some 88% of CAPS investors expect Intel to outperform the market, a number that rises with the skill of the investor -- as 93% of our All-Star players like the stock. Still, that's only enough to earn the stock three stars out of a possible five on CAPS.

Among its CAPS peers, Intel looks flat, with a middle-of-the-pack star rating:

Semiconductors Group

CAPS Rating (Out of 5)

Techwell (NASDAQ:TWLL)


Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN)


Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM)




Cypress Semiconductor (NYSE:CY)






Wall Street vs. Main Street
While our All-Stars like Intel more than the average investor does, Wall Street dislikes it even more. Only 21 of the 25 analysts we track expect Intel to outperform the market -- 84% approval. But the joke seems to be on them, as the stock has beaten the S&P 500 by 22 percentage points over the past 52 weeks.

Bull pitch
Bulls love Intel for many reasons and aren't shy about putting their thoughts into words -- we have more than 900 pitches on record as of this writing. But perhaps the most cogently put CAPS pitch in its favor of Intel goes like this:

Think about the product capitalization of the brand: (1) Per processor deals that make it THE processor of Microsoft, (2) Deal that makes them THE processor of Apple. With Microsoft and Apple BOTH growing at awesomely bullish rates, sit back and enjoy the growth ride.

Bear pitch
Likewise, many Fools have many reservations about Intel. That said, the one that really gets me to wondering reads like this:

The bread and butter for both Intel and AMD are the large expensive CPUs. I believe that the adoption rate for new processors is not accelerating. The chips are fast enough for the majority of the users out there. Newer chips have yet to provide real tangible benefits outside of a small percentage of users. Until some very significant advances in software occur, neither AMD nor Intel are going to be growing in the short term.

Who said that?
To learn the identities of the wise Fools who penned these words, to 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.

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. 701 out of more than 60,000 investors. Intel is an Inside Value newsletter recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.