McMoRan Exploration (NYSE: MMR) reported earnings on yesterday. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), McMoRan Exploration met expectations on revenues and exceeded expectations on earnings per share.

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

Margins increased across the board.

Revenue details
McMoRan Exploration booked revenue of $110.6 million. The three analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ looked for net sales of $111.5 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 19% lower than the prior-year quarter's $137.0 million.

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 -$0.01. The seven earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted -$0.11 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS were -$0.03 for Q1 against -$0.17 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 65.1%, 10 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 6.5%, 2,590 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.0%, 1,650 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $110.5 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.14.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $434.3 million. The average EPS estimate is -$0.55.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 512 members out of 534 rating the stock outperform, and 22 members rating it underperform. Among 124 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 117 give McMoRan Exploration a green thumbs-up, and seven give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on McMoRan Exploration is outperform, with an average price target of $16.44.

Are you missing a major story in the energy space? Read about "One Stock to Own Before Nat Gas Act 2011 Becomes Law." Click here for instant access to this free report.