Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) reported earnings on Oct. 18. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Gross margins dropped, operating margins contracted, net margins expanded.

Revenue details
Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings logged revenue of $1.42 billion. The 20 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected revenue of $1.44 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 1.1% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.40 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 $1.76. The 21 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $1.74 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.53 for Q3 were 17% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.31 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 39.2%, 130 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 17.6%, 120 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 10.4%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.40 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.65.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $5.68 billion. The average EPS estimate is $6.92.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 680 members out of 700 rating the stock outperform, and 20 members rating it underperform. Among 195 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 193 give Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings 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 Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings is hold, with an average price target of $94.76.