National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) reported earnings on Jan. 31. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew, and GAAP earnings per share contracted significantly.

Margins dropped across the board.

Revenue details
National Instruments recorded revenue of $278.1 million. The four analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted a top line of $278.5 million. Sales were 11% higher than the prior-year quarter's $250.0 million.

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

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.21. The four earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.23 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.20 for Q4 were 38% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.32 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 75.8%, 170 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 11.7%, 700 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 8.7%, 650 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $270.0 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.23.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.16 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.09.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 390 members out of 411 rating the stock outperform, and 21 members rating it underperform. Among 201 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 200 give National Instruments a green thumbs-up, and one give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on National Instruments is outperform, with an average price target of $33.13.

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. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of National Instruments. 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.