Praxair (NYSE: PX) reported earnings on Jan. 25. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Gross margins dropped, operating margins improved, and net margins improved.

Revenue details
Praxair booked revenue of $2.8 billion. The 14 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected revenue of $2.8 billion. Sales were 6.6% higher than the prior-year quarter's $2.6 billion.

My

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

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $1.36. The 18 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $1.37 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $1.38 for Q4 were 220% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.43 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 42.8%, 30 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 22.1%, 340 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 15.0%, 990 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.9 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.41.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $12.1 billion. The average EPS estimate is $5.99.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 663 members out of 691 rating the stock outperform, and 28 members rating it underperform. Among 175 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 172 give Praxair 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 Praxair is outperform, with an average price target of $112.22.

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.