General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) reported earnings on Jan. 25. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Margins contracted across the board.

Revenue details
General Dynamics reported revenue of $9.1 billion. The 18 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated a top line of $9.3 billion. Sales were 6.3% higher than the prior-year quarter's $8.6 billion.

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

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $2.03. The 23 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $1.99 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $1.68 for Q4 were 12% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.91 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 10.4%, 810 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 10.4%, 210 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 6.6%, 190 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $8.1 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.76.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $34.0 billion. The average EPS estimate is $7.57.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,295 members out of 1,358 rating the stock outperform, and 63 members rating it underperform. Among 378 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 367 give General Dynamics a green thumbs-up, and 11 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on General Dynamics is outperform, with an average price target of $75.85.

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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. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Dynamics. 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.