Lowe's Cos. (NYSE: LOW) reported earnings on May 21. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended May 4 (Q1), Lowe's Cos. beat slightly on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

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

Gross margins shrank, operating margins grew, net margins improved.

Revenue details
Lowe's Cos. reported revenue of $13.15 billion. The 18 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted a top line of $12.94 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 7.9% higher than the prior-year quarter's $12.19 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
EPS came in at $0.44. The 21 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.41 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.43 for Q1 were 26% higher 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 34.7%, 70 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 7.2%, 40 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 4.0%, 20 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $14.72 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.73.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $50.96 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 2,142 members out of 2,429 rating the stock outperform, and 287 members rating it underperform. Among 642 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 581 give Lowe's Cos. a green thumbs-up, and 61 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Lowe's Companies is outperform, with an average price target of $32.13.

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