Babcock & Wilcox (NYSE: BWC) reported earnings on Nov. 7. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Sep. 30 (Q3), Babcock & Wilcox missed estimates on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.

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

Gross margins contracted, operating margins increased, net margins shrank.

Revenue details
Babcock & Wilcox reported revenue of $807.6 million. The 12 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected to see a top line of $826.9 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 14% higher than the prior-year quarter's $707.6 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 $0.37. The nine earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.44 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.34 for Q3 were 13% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.39 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 23.3%, 100 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 6.9%, 190 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.0%, 150 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $864.4 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.47.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3.31 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.78.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 89 members out of 91 rating the stock outperform, and two members rating it underperform. Among 20 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 20 give Babcock & Wilcox 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 Babcock & Wilcox is outperform, with an average price target of $32.71.

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.