Federal Signal (NYSE: FSS) reported earnings on Nov. 9. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue shrank and GAAP earnings per share dropped to a loss.

Gross margins grew, operating margins grew, net margins dropped.

Revenue details
Federal Signal chalked up revenue of $185.0 million. The one analyst polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see revenue of $187.0 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 4.7% lower than the prior-year quarter's $194.2 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 $0.09. The three earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.07 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.23 for Q3 against $0.03 per share for 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 24.6%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 6.7%, 290 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -7.9%, 880 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $239.0 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.11.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $855.0 million. The average EPS estimate is $0.37.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 64 members out of 76 rating the stock outperform, and 12 members rating it underperform. Among 18 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 16 give Federal Signal 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 Federal Signal is hold, with an average price target of $7.00.

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.