Brown Shoe (NYSE: BWS) reported earnings on Nov. 20. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Oct. 27 (Q3), Brown Shoe beat expectations on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.

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

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

Revenue details
Brown Shoe reported revenue of $732.2 million. The three analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated revenue of $700.4 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 2.6% higher than the prior-year quarter's $713.8 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 five earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.47 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.56 for Q3 were 29% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.79 per share. (The prior-year quarter included $0.40 per share in earnings from discontinued operations.)

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 39.0%, 10 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 5.9%, 50 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 3.3%, 140 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $642.1 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.06.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $2.58 billion. The average EPS estimate is $0.93.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 115 members out of 143 rating the stock outperform, and 28 members rating it underperform. Among 46 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 41 give Brown Shoe a green thumbs-up, and five give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Brown Shoe is outperform, with an average price target of $16.00.

If you're invested in retailers like Brown Shoe, you should check out the concept that is The Motley Fool's top stock for 2012. Its founder wrote the book on big box retailing, and it's growing in increasingly important international markets. Click here for instant access to this free report.

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.