Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) reported earnings on Jan. 23. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Albemarle beat slightly on revenues and beat slightly on earnings per share.

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

Margins increased across the board.

Revenue details
Albemarle reported revenue of $707 million. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted net sales of $699 million. Sales were 17% higher than the prior-year quarter's $605 million.

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

EPS details
EPS came in at $1.11. The 11 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $1.09 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.11 for Q4 were 21% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.92 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 33.1%, 60 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 19.2%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 14.1%, 10 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $752 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.22.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3 billion. The average EPS estimate is $4.74.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 214 members out of 226 rating the stock outperform, and 13 members rating it underperform. Among 70 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 68 give Albemarle a green thumbs-up, and two give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Albemarle is outperform, with an average price target of $62.44.

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.