L-3 Communications Holdings (NYSE: LLL) reported earnings on Jan. 30. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), L-3 Communications Holdings beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

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

Margins shrank across the board.

Revenue details
L-3 Communications Holdings notched revenue of $3.56 billion. The 14 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted revenue of $3.46 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 11% lower than the prior-year quarter's $4.02 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 $2.28. The 13 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $2.12 per share. GAAP EPS of $2.25 for Q4 were 17% lower than the prior-year quarter's $2.71 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 10.2%, 140 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 10.2%, 140 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 6.0%, 80 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.98 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.88.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $12.57 billion. The average EPS estimate is $8.03.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 884 members out of 920 rating the stock outperform, and 36 members rating it underperform. Among 239 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 232 give L-3 Communications Holdings a green thumbs-up, and seven give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on L-3 Communications Holdings is hold, with an average price target of $77.00.

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