Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA) reported earnings on Feb. 14. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

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

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

Revenue details
Discovery Communications chalked up revenue of $1.20 billion. The 23 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected a top line of $1.20 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 7.0% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.12 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 $0.61. The 27 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.76 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.61 for Q4 were 29% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.86 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 72.7%, 40 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 40.3%, 100 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 18.7%, 1,120 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.18 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.70.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $5.18 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.39.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 254 members out of 284 rating the stock outperform, and 30 members rating it underperform. Among 95 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 87 give Discovery Communications a green thumbs-up, and eight give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Discovery Communications is hold, with an average price target of $60.61.

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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.