Kadant (NYSE: KAI) reported earnings on April 25. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Kadant beat slightly on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.

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

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

Revenue details
Kadant chalked up revenue of $84.1 million. The three analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted net sales of $82.8 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 17% higher than the prior-year quarter's $71.7 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 $0.61. The four earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.42 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.60 for Q1 were 28% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.47 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 45.6%, 200 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 12.4%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 8.4%, 30 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $91.3 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.53.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $346.1 million. The average EPS estimate is $2.01.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 163 members out of 184 rating the stock outperform, and 21 members rating it underperform. Among 53 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 51 give Kadant a green thumbs-up, and two give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Kadant is outperform, with an average price target of $31.33.

Over the decades, small-cap stocks like Kadant have produced market-beating returns, provided they're value-priced and have solid businesses. Read about a pair of companies with a lock on their markets in "Too Small to Fail: 2 Small Caps the Government Won't Let Go Broke." Click here for instant access to this free report.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.