Nielsen Holdings (NYSE: NLSN) reported earnings on Feb. 6. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Margins improved across the board.

Revenue details
Nielsen Holdings notched revenue of $1.42 billion. The 13 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted revenue of $1.46 billion. GAAP sales were 3.6% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.37 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
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.51. The 15 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.48 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS were $0.27 for Q4 compared to -$0.27 per share for the prior-year quarter.

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 60.3%, 110 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 20.3%, 260 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 6.7%, 660 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.34 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.27.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $5.76 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.74.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 19 members out of 21 rating the stock outperform, and two members rating it underperform. Among two CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), two give Nielsen Holdings a green thumbs-up.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Nielsen Holdings is outperform, with an average price target of $35.80.

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.