American Public Education (Nasdaq: APEI) reported earnings on May 10. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

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

Revenue details
American Public Education booked revenue of $75.8 million. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected to see revenue of $74.9 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 29% higher than the prior-year quarter's $58.7 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 $0.50. The 11 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.47 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.50 for Q1 were 16% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.43 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 63.3%, 100 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 19.6%, 270 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 12.0%, 140 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $74.0 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.49.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $314.2 million. The average EPS estimate is $2.31.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 260 members out of 273 rating the stock outperform, and 13 members rating it underperform. Among 99 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 96 give American Public Education a green thumbs-up, and three give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on American Public Education is outperform, with an average price target of $47.45.

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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 American Public Education. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of American Public Education. 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.