Nielsen Holdings (NYSE: NLSN) reported earnings on Oct. 22. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

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

Revenue details
Nielsen Holdings logged revenue of $1.42 billion. The 15 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated a top line of $1.44 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 0.7% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.41 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 $0.53. The 18 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.50 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.29 for Q3 were 3.6% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.28 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 60.3%, 50 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 20.0%, 60 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 7.4%, 20 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.48 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.59.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $5.65 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.80.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 22 members out of 25 rating the stock outperform, and three members rating it underperform. Among four CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), four give Nielsen Holdings a green thumbs-up, and give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Nielsen Holdings is outperform, with an average price target of $33.86.

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