WellCare Health Plans (NYSE: WCG) reported earnings on Oct. 31. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Sep. 30 (Q3), WellCare Health Plans met expectations on revenues and whiffed on earnings per share.

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

Margins dropped across the board.

Revenue details
WellCare Health Plans notched revenue of $1.82 billion. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ looked for a top line of $1.83 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 18% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.54 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 $1.05. The 11 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $1.49 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.87 for Q3 were 57% lower than the prior-year quarter's $2.03 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 14.8%, 770 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 3.5%, 580 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 2.1%, 360 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.83 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.39.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $7.26 billion. The average EPS estimate is $5.36.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 445 members out of 486 rating the stock outperform, and 41 members rating it underperform. Among 127 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 118 give WellCare Health Plans a green thumbs-up, and nine give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on WellCare Health Plans is outperform, with an average price target of $72.91.

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.