Central Garden & Pet (Nasdaq: CENT) reported earnings on Dec. 11. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Sep. 29 (Q4), Central Garden & Pet beat expectations on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.

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

Gross margins expanded, operating margins shrank, net margins grew.

Revenue details
Central Garden & Pet booked revenue of $397.2 million. The four analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw a top line of $373.5 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 5.4% higher than the prior-year quarter's $376.9 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 -$0.21. The four earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted -$0.21 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.21 for Q4 against -$0.22 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 26.5%, 40 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -2.1%, 90 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -2.5%, 40 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $310.4 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.25.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.73 billion. The average EPS estimate is $0.84.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 112 members out of 132 rating the stock outperform, and 20 members rating it underperform. Among 49 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 41 give Central Garden & Pet a green thumbs-up, and eight give it a red thumbs-down.

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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. 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.