American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC) reported earnings on Feb. 14. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), American Campus Communities beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue improved and GAAP earnings per share improved. The non-GAAP profit was a surprise, as analysts had predicted a loss.

Gross margins shrank, operating margins were steady, net margins grew.

Revenue details
American Campus Communities reported revenue of $97.3 million. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated sales of $88.9 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 7.7% higher than the prior-year quarter's $98.2 million.

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 $0.02. The five earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted -$0.01 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.22 for Q3 were 10.0% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.20 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 54.0%, 10 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 29.2%, about the same as the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 15.0%, 100 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $94.7 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.22.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $366.2 million. The average EPS estimate is $0.65.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 94 members out of 131 rating the stock outperform, and 37 members rating it underperform. Among 41 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 32 give American Campus Communities a green thumbs-up, and nine give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on American Campus Communities is outperform, with an average price target of $41.32.

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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.