Alon USA Energy (NYSE: ALJ) reported earnings on May 4. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Alon USA Energy beat expectations on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.

Compared with the prior-year quarter, revenue improved and GAAP earnings per share dropped to a loss.

Margins dropped across the board.

Revenue details
Alon USA Energy notched revenue of $1.79 billion. The two analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated revenue of $1.72 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 9.5% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.64 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 $0.15. The four earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.17 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.52 for Q1 against $0.22 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 3.1%, 500 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -0.6%, 510 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -1.6%, 240 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.36 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.63.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $8.96 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.46.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 376 members out of 395 rating the stock outperform, and 19 members rating it underperform. Among 100 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 94 give Alon USA Energy 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 Alon USA Energy is hold, with an average price target of $10.25.

Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings. He is the 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 don't 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.