Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) reported earnings on Oct. 25. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded and GAAP loss per share grew.

Margins dropped across the board.

Revenue details
Sprint Nextel notched revenue of $8.76 billion. The 25 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted sales of $8.81 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 5.2% higher than the prior-year quarter's $8.33 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 -$0.25. The 17 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged -$0.40 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.26 for Q3 compared to -$0.10 per share for the prior-year quarter.

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 41.9%, 280 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -2.6%, 510 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -8.8%, 520 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $9.00 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.49.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $35.39 billion. The average EPS estimate is -$1.41.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 2,037 members out of 2,513 rating the stock outperform, and 476 members rating it underperform. Among 432 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 327 give Sprint Nextel a green thumbs-up, and 105 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Sprint Nextel is outperform, with an average price target of $5.20.

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.