Ultra Petroleum (NYSE: UPL) reported earnings on May 3. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Gross margins dropped, operating margins shrank, and net margins grew.

Revenue details
Ultra Petroleum recorded revenue of $226.1 million. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw sales of $264.8 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 12% lower than the prior-year quarter's $257.3 million.

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 $0.32. The 21 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.30 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.55 for Q1 were 25% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.44 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 66.5%, 830 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 14.4%, 3,510 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 37.3%, 1,060 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $279.3 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.39.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.10 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.43.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,481 members out of 1,523 rating the stock outperform, and 42 members rating it underperform. Among 296 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 288 give Ultra Petroleum a green thumbs-up, and eight give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Ultra Petroleum is hold, with an average price target of $33.69.

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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. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ultra Petroleum. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Ultra Petroleum. 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.