Principal Financial Group (NYSE: PFG) reported earnings on Feb. 2. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue was unchanged and GAAP earnings per share shrank.

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

Revenue details
Principal Financial Group booked revenue of $2.10 billion. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected a top line of $2.10 billion. Sales were 11% lower than the prior-year quarter's $2.11 billion.

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

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.71. The earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.74 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.54 for Q4 were 11% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.61 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 41.5%, 310 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 14.6%, 210 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 8.2%, 60 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.12 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.75.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $8.73 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.17.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 187 members out of 223 rating the stock outperform, and 36 members rating it underperform. Among 53 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 50 give Principal Financial Group 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 Principal Financial Group is hold, with an average price target of $30.59.

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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.