Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS) reported earnings on Jan. 24. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Rambus missed estimates on revenues and missed expectations on earnings per share.

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

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

Revenue details
Rambus logged revenue of $57.4 million. The two analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ looked for a top line of $60.3 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 31% lower than the prior-year quarter's $83.4 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 -$0.14. The two earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast -$0.12 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.14 for Q4 against -$0.26 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 89.0%, 210 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -5.7%, 2,030 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -28.1%, 630 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $60.6 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.09.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $280.5 million. The average EPS estimate is $0.00.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 431 members out of 521 rating the stock outperform, and 90 members rating it underperform. Among 78 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 63 give Rambus a green thumbs-up, and 15 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Rambus is outperform, with an average price target of $7.33.

Is Rambus the best semiconductor stock for you? You may be missing something obvious. Check out the semiconductor company that Motley Fool analysts expect to lead "The Next Trillion-dollar Revolution." 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.