Mercer International (Nasdaq: MERC) reported earnings on Nov. 1. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Margins dropped across the board.

Revenue details
Mercer International reported revenue of $286.7 million. The two analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see revenue of $257.6 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 4.1% higher than the prior-year quarter's $275.4 million.

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 -$0.20. The five earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted -$0.14 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.22 for Q3 versus $0.20 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 14.4%, 1,390 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 3.2%, 1,400 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -4.3%, 840 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $286.9 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.16.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.08 billion. The average EPS estimate is -$0.02.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 153 members out of 167 rating the stock outperform, and 14 members rating it underperform. Among 38 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 37 give Mercer International a green thumbs-up, and one give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Mercer International is hold, with an average price target of $6.90.

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.