Waters (NYSE: WAT) reported earnings on Jan. 24. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased, and earnings per share expanded.

Gross margins shrank, operating margins increased, and net margins improved.

Revenue details
Waters recorded revenue of $521 million. The 18 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated revenue of $517 million. Sales were 7.8% higher than the prior-year quarter's $484 million.

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

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $1.56. The earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $1.50 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $1.51 for Q4 were 12% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.35 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 60.8%, 10 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 31.6%, 100 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 26.3%, 10 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $446 million.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $2 billion. The average EPS estimate is $5.31.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 317 members out of 332 rating the stock outperform, and 15 members rating it underperform. Among 115 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 113 give Waters 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 Waters is outperform, with an average price target of $88.63.

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.