CF Industries Holdings (NYSE: CF) reported earnings on May 3. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), CF Industries Holdings crushed expectations 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.

Margins grew across the board.

Revenue details
CF Industries Holdings reported revenue of $1.53 billion. The 10 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ looked for sales of $1.24 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 30% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.17 billion.

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 $6.06. The 16 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $4.87 per share. GAAP EPS of $5.54 for Q1 were 42% higher than the prior-year quarter's $3.91 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 46.6%, 190 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 42.9%, 100 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 24.1%, 10 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.84 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $8.02.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $5.86 billion. The average EPS estimate is $23.70.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,191 members out of 1,235 rating the stock outperform, and 44 members rating it underperform. Among 261 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 252 give CF Industries Holdings 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 CF Industries Holdings is outperform, with an average price target of $207.51.

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.