Legg Mason (NYSE: LM) reported earnings on May 1. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q4), Legg Mason met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

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

Gross margins dropped, operating margins dropped, and net margins increased.

Revenue details
Legg Mason reported revenue of $648.6 million. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted revenue of $645.3 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 9.1% lower than the prior-year quarter's $713.4 million.

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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 $0.54. The 16 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.47 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.54 for Q4 were 20% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.45 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 29.4%, 420 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 11.4%, 430 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 11.7%, 200 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $653.4 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.46.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $2.65 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.01.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 832 members out of 904 rating the stock outperform, and 72 members rating it underperform. Among 328 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 308 give Legg Mason a green thumbs-up, and 20 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Legg Mason is hold, with an average price target of $29.85.

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.