Express Scripts Holding (Nasdaq: ESRX) reported earnings on Nov. 5. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Gross margins expanded, operating margins dropped, net margins dropped.

Revenue details
Express Scripts Holding reported revenue of $27.00 billion. The 18 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected to see revenue of $27.46 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were much higher than the prior-year quarter's $11.57 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 $1.02. The 20 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.99 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.47 for Q3 were 29% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.66 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 7.9%, 70 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 3.0%, 240 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 1.4%, 140 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $27.99 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.05.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $95.11 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.70.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 732 members out of 776 rating the stock outperform, and 44 members rating it underperform. Among 188 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 179 give Express Scripts Holding 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 Express Scripts Holding is outperform, with an average price target of $69.15.

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.