Health Management Associates (NYSE: HMA) reported earnings on Oct. 22. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Gross margins grew, operating margins dropped, net margins dropped.

Revenue details
Health Management Associates chalked up revenue of $1.66 billion. The 14 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected to see net sales of $1.63 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 19% 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 $0.18. The 22 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.20 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.16 for Q3 were 5.9% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.17 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 48.7%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 8.7%, 30 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 2.5%, 60 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.69 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.24.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $6.66 billion. The average EPS estimate is $0.85.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 214 members out of 251 rating the stock outperform, and 37 members rating it underperform. Among 71 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 67 give Health Management Associates a green thumbs-up, and four give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Health Management Associates is outperform, with an average price target of $9.53.

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. TMFDisclosureHere