Packaging Corp. of America (NYSE: PKG) reported earnings on Oct. 15. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Sep. 30 (Q3), Packaging Corp. of America met expectations on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.

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

Gross margins expanded, operating margins grew, net margins shrank.

Revenue details
Packaging Corp. of America recorded revenue of $723.5 million. The 10 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw a top line of $718.7 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 7.9% higher than the prior-year quarter's $670.8 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 $0.55. The 13 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.56 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.41 for Q3 were 2.4% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.42 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 22.5%, 200 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 12.7%, 210 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.5%, 70 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $713.6 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.58.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $2.81 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.04.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 178 members out of 192 rating the stock outperform, and 14 members rating it underperform. Among 57 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 55 give Packaging Corp. of America a green thumbs-up, and two give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Packaging Corp. of America is outperform, with an average price target of $35.47.

Can your portfolio provide you with enough income to last through retirement? You'll need more than Packaging Corp. of America. Learn how to maximize your investment income and get "The 3 DOW Stocks Dividend Investors Need." Click here for instant access to this free report.

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 has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. 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.