Nexen (NYSE: NXY) reported earnings on Feb. 23. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Nexen met expectations on revenue and met expectations on earnings per share.

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

Gross margin dropped, operating margin increased, and net margin dropped.

Revenue details
Nexen chalked up revenue of $1.67 billion. The five analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see sales of $1.66 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 4.3% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.60 billion.

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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 $0.43. The 10 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.43 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.05 for Q4 were 85% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.34 per share.

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 70.2%, 100 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 29.0%, 940 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 2.5%, 750 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.55 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.42.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $6.65 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.83.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 311 members out of 323 rating the stock outperform, and 12 members rating it underperform. Among 85 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 84 give Nexen a green thumbs-up, and one gives it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Nexen is hold, with an average price target of $21.15.

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