TravelCenters of America (AMEX: TA) reported earnings on March 18. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), TravelCenters of America met expectations on revenues and exceeded expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue was unchanged. GAAP loss per share grew.

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

Revenue details
TravelCenters of America notched revenue of $1.93 billion. The three analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see sales of $1.93 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 -$0.08. The three earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated -$0.11 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.08 for Q4 compared to -$0.07 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 4.5%, 10 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 0.0%, 10 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -0.1%, much about the same as the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.04 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.42.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $8.29 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.20.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 93 members out of 107 rating the stock outperform, and 14 members rating it underperform. Among 39 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 33 give TravelCenters of America 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 TravelCenters of America is outperform, with an average price target of $6.25.

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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.