Vectren (NYSE: VVC) reported earnings on Nov. 5. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

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

Revenue details
Vectren logged revenue of $513.5 million. The three analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see net sales of $522.2 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 4.8% lower than the prior-year quarter's $539.4 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 $0.48. The six earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.33 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.48 for Q3 were 12% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.43 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 68.5%, 380 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 15.9%, 150 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 7.7%, 120 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $608.1 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.49.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $2.24 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.73.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 88 members out of 92 rating the stock outperform, and four members rating it underperform. Among 24 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 24 give Vectren a green thumbs-up, and give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Vectren is hold, with an average price target of $31.00.

Can your portfolio provide you with enough income to last through retirement? You'll need more than Vectren. Learn how to maximize your investment income and "Secure Your Future With 9 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks." Click here for instant access to this free report.

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.