Actuant (NYSE: ATU) reported earnings on Dec. 21. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Nov. 30 (Q1), Actuant beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew significantly, and earnings per share grew significantly.

Margins improved across the board.

Revenue details
Actuant booked revenue of $393 million. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected revenue of $376 million. Sales were 23% higher than the prior-year quarter's $318 million

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

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.50. The 13 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.43 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.50 for Q1 were 42% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.35 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 38.9%, 60 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 14.6%, 140 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 9.5%, 140 basis points better 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 $369 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.37.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.6 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.95.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 503 members out of 512 rating the stock outperform, and nine members rating it underperform. Among 178 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 177 give Actuant a green thumbs-up, and one give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Actuant is outperform, with an average price target of $27.83.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.