Rex Energy (Nasdaq: REXX) reported earnings on Feb. 26. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew significantly. Non-GAAP earnings per share dropped significantly. GAAP loss per share didn't move.

Gross margins shrank, operating margins grew, net margins increased.

Revenue details
Rex Energy reported revenue of $45.1 million. The nine analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected to see sales of $42.8 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 42% higher than the prior-year quarter's $31.7 million.

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 $0.11. The 14 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.09 per share. Non-GAAP EPS of $0.11 for Q4 were 48% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.21 per share. (The prior-year quarter included -$0.10 per share in earnings from discontinued operations.) GAAP EPS of -$0.07 were the same as the prior-year quarter.

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 70.9%, 50 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 20.1%, much better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -8.0%, 190 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $47.8 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.12.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $226.4 million. The average EPS estimate is $0.64.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 341 members out of 362 rating the stock outperform, and 21 members rating it underperform. Among 66 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 60 give Rex Energy a green thumbs-up, and six give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Rex Energy is outperform, with an average price target of $17.13.

Is Rex Energy the right energy stock for you? Read about a handful of timely, profit-producing plays on expensive crude in "3 Stocks for $100 Oil." Click here for instant access to this free report.

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.