Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP) reported earnings on Jan. 16. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

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

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

Revenue details
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners notched revenue of $2.51 billion. The eight analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected net sales of $2.49 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 25% higher than the prior-year quarter's $2.00 billion.

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 $0.75. The 11 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.66 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.68 for Q4 were 229% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.51 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 44.6%, 60 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 26.1%, about the same as the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 24.5%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.48 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.63.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $10.05 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.56.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,475 members out of 1,529 rating the stock outperform, and 54 members rating it underperform. Among 443 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 426 give Kinder Morgan Energy Partners a green thumbs-up, and 17 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is outperform, with an average price target of $89.58.

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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 position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.