California Water Service Group (NYSE: CWT) reported earnings on Nov. 7. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Sep. 30 (Q3), California Water Service Group beat slightly on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.

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

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

Revenue details
California Water Service Group reported revenue of $178.1 million. The four analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see revenue of $176.2 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 5.2% higher than the prior-year quarter's $169.3 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 $0.71. The six earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.58 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.71 for Q3 were 42% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.50 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 52.3%, about the same as the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 26.2%, 100 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 16.7%, 430 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $117.2 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.10.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $544.1 million. The average EPS estimate is $0.99.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 230 members out of 240 rating the stock outperform, and 10 members rating it underperform. Among 84 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 82 give California Water Service Group a green thumbs-up, and two give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on California Water Service Group is outperform, with an average price target of $20.50.

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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend California Water Service Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.