BCE (NYSE: BCE) reported earnings on Feb. 9. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Gross margins shrank, operating margins expanded, net margins dropped.

Revenue details
BCE chalked up revenue of $5.08 billion. The 12 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected a top line of $5.13 billion. GAAP sales were 7.9% higher than the prior-year quarter's $4.71 billion.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.61. The six earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.66 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.61 for Q4 were 5.2% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.58 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 36.2%, 3,360 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 19.9%, 110 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 9.9%, 10 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $5.03 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.82.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $18.12 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.27.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 221 members out of 241 rating the stock outperform, and 20 members rating it underperform. Among 75 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 69 give BCE 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 BCE is hold, with an average price target of $40.43.

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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.