United States Cellular Crushes Earnings Estimates

United States Cellular (NYSE: USM  ) reported earnings on May 4. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), United States Cellular met expectations on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.

Compared with the prior-year quarter, revenue increased and GAAP earnings per share increased significantly.

Margins grew across the board.

Revenue details
United States Cellular recorded revenue of $1.09 billion. The four analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted revenue of $1.09 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 3.3% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.06 billion.

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

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.73. The six earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.50 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.73 for Q1 were 83% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.40 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 61.5%, 50 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 7.6%, 210 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.7%, 250 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.09 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.65.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $4.39 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.94.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 32 members out of 53 rating the stock outperform, and 21 members rating it underperform. Among 12 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), eight give United States Cellular a green thumbs-up, and four give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on United States Cellular is hold, with an average price target of $40.40.

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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings. He is the co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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