Carnival (NYSE: CCL) reported earnings on Dec. 20. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Nov. 30 (Q4), Carnival missed on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue contracted slightly, and earnings per share contracted.

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

Revenue details
Carnival reported revenue of $3.7 billion. The 12 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected a top line of $3.8 billion. Sales were 1.5% lower than the prior-year quarter's $3.5 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.28. The 14 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.28 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.28 for Q4 were 10% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.31 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 30.5%, 10 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 8.3%, 80 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.9%, 70 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods.

Looking ahead
What does the future hold?

Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $3.6 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.16. (There are five revenue estimates and eight EPS estimates.)

Investor sentiment
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Carnival is outperform, with an average price target of $41.87.

Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is 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 may not 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.