Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) reported earnings on Dec. 23. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Oct. 31 (Q4), Piedmont Natural Gas missed on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

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

Margins shrank across the board.

Revenue details
Piedmont Natural Gas logged revenue of $192 million. The three analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw a top line of $204 million. Sales were 1.1% lower than the prior-year quarter's $194 million.

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

EPS details
EPS came in at -$0.13. The six earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged -$0.14 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.13 for Q4 versus -$0.12 per share for the prior-year quarter.

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 13.9%, 60 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -4.2%, 180 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -5%, 30 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 $672 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.18.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.5 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.65.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 167 members out of 183 rating the stock outperform, and 16 members rating it underperform. Among 64 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 61 give Piedmont Natural Gas a green thumbs-up, and three give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Piedmont Natural Gas is underperform, with an average price target of $29.14.

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. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Piedmont Natural Gas. 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.