Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) reported earnings on Oct. 17. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Sep. 30 (Q3), Abbott Laboratories missed slightly on revenues and beat slightly on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue was unchanged and GAAP earnings per share grew significantly.

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

Revenue details
Abbott Laboratories reported revenue of $9.77 billion. The 16 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ looked for revenue of $9.93 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 0.4% lower than the prior-year quarter's $9.82 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 $1.30. The 19 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $1.28 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.21 for Q3 were much higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.19 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 62.2%, 270 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 20.4%, 90 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 19.9%, 1,680 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $10.59 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.51.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $39.73 billion. The average EPS estimate is $5.06.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 2,547 members out of 2,639 rating the stock outperform, and 92 members rating it underperform. Among 660 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 640 give Abbott Laboratories 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 Abbott Laboratories is hold, with an average price target of $68.15.

Can your retirement portfolio provide you with enough income to last? You'll need more than Abbott Laboratories. Learn about crafting a smarter retirement plan in "The Shocking Can't-Miss Truth About Your Retirement." Click here for instant access to this free report.

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.