Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE: CPK) reported earnings on Nov. 7. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Margins expanded across the board.

Revenue details
Chesapeake Utilities tallied revenue of $78.2 million. The two analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see a top line of $86.4 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 3.0% lower than the prior-year quarter's $80.6 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 $0.33. The three earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.25 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.33 for Q3 were 32% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.25 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 20.3%, 430 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 9.7%, 280 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 4.1%, 110 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $105.6 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.87.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $396.7 million. The average EPS estimate is $2.77.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 93 members out of 101 rating the stock outperform, and eight members rating it underperform. Among 23 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 23 give Chesapeake Utilities 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 Chesapeake Utilities is buy, with an average price target of $48.33.

Can your portfolio provide you with enough income to last through retirement? You'll need more than Chesapeake Utilities. 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.