Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) reported earnings on Feb. 2. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Margins increased across the board.

Revenue details
Alliance Data Systems reported revenue of $847.6 million. The 20 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated sales of $847.4 million. Sales were 12% higher than the prior-year quarter's $755.7 million.

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

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $1.70. The 20 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $1.50 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $1.12 for Q4 were 32% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.85 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 25.9%, 240 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 21.4%, 280 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 7.8%, 160 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $837.6 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $2.20.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3.48 billion. The average EPS estimate is $8.27.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 191 members out of 226 rating the stock outperform, and 35 members rating it underperform. Among 77 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 71 give Alliance Data Systems a green thumbs-up, and six give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Alliance Data Systems is outperform, with an average price target of $109.27.

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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. 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.