Alon USA Energy (NYSE: ALJ) reported earnings on March 7. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded. Non-GAAP earnings per share expanded. GAAP earnings per share expanded.

Margins grew across the board.

Revenue details
Alon USA Energy notched revenue of $1.95 billion. The four analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see a top line of $1.94 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 $0.58. The eight earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.57 per share. Non-GAAP EPS were $0.58 for Q4 against -$0.78 per share for the prior-year quarter. GAAP EPS were $0.33 for Q4 compared to -$0.24 per share for 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 8.3%, 540 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 4.9%, 570 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 1.1%, 180 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.76 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.53.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $6.81 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.65.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 371 members out of 392 rating the stock outperform, and 21 members rating it underperform. Among 100 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 95 give Alon USA Energy a green thumbs-up, and five give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Alon USA Energy is hold, with an average price target of $15.20.

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