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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