CF Industries Holdings (NYSE: CF) reported earnings on Nov. 5. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Margins increased across the board.

Revenue details
CF Industries Holdings notched revenue of $1.36 billion. The 13 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated revenue of $1.35 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 3.2% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.40 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 $5.85. The 18 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $5.71 per share. GAAP EPS of $6.35 for Q3 were 34% higher than the prior-year quarter's $4.73 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 51.6%, 620 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 48.3%, 520 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 29.7%, 610 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.55 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $6.70.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $6.18 billion. The average EPS estimate is $27.09.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,227 members out of 1,274 rating the stock outperform, and 47 members rating it underperform. Among 254 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 245 give CF Industries Holdings 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 CF Industries Holdings is outperform, with an average price target of $232.61.

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.