CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) reported earnings on Feb. 13. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

Gross margins dropped, operating margins expanded, net margins expanded.

Revenue details
CenturyLink recorded revenue of $4.58 billion. The 15 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated sales of $4.59 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.

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 $0.38. The 18 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.67 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.37 for Q4 were 118% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.17 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 58.4%, 810 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 14.5%, 180 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.1%, 280 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $4.55 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.66.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $18.23 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.61.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 520 members out of 565 rating the stock outperform, and 45 members rating it underperform. Among 171 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 157 give CenturyLink a green thumbs-up, and 14 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on CenturyLink is outperform, with an average price target of $44.42.

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