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.

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.