Dean Foods (NYSE: DF) reported earnings on Feb. 15. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Dean Foods met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew, and GAAP loss per share contracted.

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

Revenue details
Dean Foods logged revenue of $3.30 billion. The 14 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated revenue of $3.33 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 4.5% higher than the prior-year quarter's $3.15 billion.

My

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.27. The 14 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.23 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS were -$0.05 for Q4 compared to -$0.11 per share for the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 23.3%, 70 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 4.1%, 70 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -0.3%, 40 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $3.10 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.21.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $12.85 billion. The average EPS estimate is $0.94.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 436 members rating the stock outperform and 49 members rating it underperform. Among 110 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 96 give Dean Foods 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 Dean Foods is outperform, with an average price target of $12.09.

Over the decades, small-cap stocks, like Dean Foods have provided market-beating returns, provided they're value priced and have solid businesses. Read about a pair of companies with a lock on their markets in "Too Small to Fail: Two Small Caps the Government Won't Let Go Broke." Click here for instant access to this free report.