Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) reported earnings on Jan. 28. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Caterpillar met expectations on revenues and whiffed on earnings per share.

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

Margins shrank across the board.

Revenue details
Caterpillar chalked up revenue of $16.08 billion. The 12 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see revenue of $16.20 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 6.8% lower than the prior-year quarter's $17.24 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 $1.46. The 21 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $1.71 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.04 for Q4 were 55% lower than the prior-year quarter's $2.32 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 24.7%, 10 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 10.1%, 120 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 4.3%, 470 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $15.06 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.87.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $65.21 billion. The average EPS estimate is $8.60.

Investor sentiment

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Caterpillar is outperform, with an average price target of $97.98.

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