Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) reported earnings on Dec. 23. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Oct. 31 (Q4), Piedmont Natural Gas missed on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue dropped slightly, and earnings per share dropped.

Margins shrank across the board.

Revenue details
Piedmont Natural Gas logged revenue of $192 million. The three analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw a top line of $204 million. Sales were 1.1% lower than the prior-year quarter's $194 million.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.

EPS details
EPS came in at -$0.13. The six earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged -$0.14 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.13 for Q4 versus -$0.12 per share for the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 13.9%, 60 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -4.2%, 180 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -5%, 30 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods.

Looking ahead
What does the future hold?

Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $672 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.18.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.5 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.65.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 167 members out of 183 rating the stock outperform, and 16 members rating it underperform. Among 64 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 61 give Piedmont Natural Gas a green thumbs-up, and three give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Piedmont Natural Gas is underperform, with an average price target of $29.14.