American Public Education (Nasdaq: APEI) reported earnings on Nov. 8. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Sep. 30 (Q3), American Public Education met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased significantly and GAAP earnings per share didn't change.

Gross margins increased, operating margins dropped, net margins dropped.

Revenue details
American Public Education reported revenue of $77.1 million. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted a top line of $77.1 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 18% higher than the prior-year quarter's $65.3 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 $0.60. The 12 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.50 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.60 were the same as the prior-year quarter.

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 65.7%, 240 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 22.7%, 30 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 14.0%, 280 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $87.7 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.71.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $315.3 million. The average EPS estimate is $2.27.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 266 members out of 280 rating the stock outperform, and 14 members rating it underperform. Among 97 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 93 give American Public Education a green thumbs-up, and four give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on American Public Education is outperform, with an average price target of $39.89.

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.