Aflac (NYSE: AFL) reported earnings on Jan. 31. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Aflac missed estimates on revenues and missed expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew and GAAP earnings per share grew significantly.

Gross margins contracted, operating margins improved, and net margins grew.

Revenue details
Aflac booked revenue of $5.98 billion. The eight analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw a top line of $6.16 billion. Sales were 13% higher than the prior-year quarter's $5.29 billion.

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

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $1.48. The 19 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $1.51 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $1.17 for Q4 were 27% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.92 per share.

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%, 1,120 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 13.9%, 50 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 9.1%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $6.22 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.66.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $25.30 billion. The average EPS estimate is $6.67.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,854 members out of 1,932 rating the stock outperform, and 78 members rating it underperform. Among 585 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 571 give Aflac a green thumbs-up, and 14 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Aflac is outperform, with an average price target of $53.79.

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