CNH Global (NYSE: CNH) reported earnings on Jan. 31. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), CNH Global beat expectations on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased and GAAP earnings per share contracted slightly.

Gross margins expanded, operating margins shrank, net margins were steady.

Revenue details
CNH Global booked revenue of $4.93 billion. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ hoped for net sales of $4.66 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 2.9% higher than the prior-year quarter's $5.04 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 $0.92. The 10 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.69 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.78 for Q4 were 2.5% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.80 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 22.4%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 6.5%, 210 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 3.8%, about the same as the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $4.47 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.00.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $19.32 billion. The average EPS estimate is $4.74.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 288 members out of 314 rating the stock outperform, and 26 members rating it underperform. Among 85 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 82 give CNH Global a green thumbs-up, and three give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on CNH Global is hold, with an average price target of $48.11.

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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.