General Electric (NYSE: GE) reported earnings on Jan. 20. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), General Electric missed on revenue and beat expectations on earnings per share.

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

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

Revenue details
General Electric tallied revenue of $38.0 billion. The 10 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected sales of $40.0 billion. Sales were 5.7% lower than the prior-year quarter's $41.4 billion.

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

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.39. The 14 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.38 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.35 for Q4 were 16% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.42 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 20.3%, 1,570 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 20.3%, 1,000 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 9.8%, 150 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $35.6 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.34.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $151.8 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.55.

Investor sentiment
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on General Electric is outperform, with an average price target of $20.73.

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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 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.