HFF (NYSE: HF) reported earnings on May 1. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), HFF whiffed on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.

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

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

Revenue details
HFF reported revenue of $54.2 million. The two analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected a top line of $60.8 million 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 $0.06. The two earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.12 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.06 for Q1 were 33% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.09 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 35.7%, much better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -0.2%, 680 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 4.3%, 200 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $77.0 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.34.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $323.0 million. The average EPS estimate is $1.25.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 24 members out of 47 rating the stock outperform, and 23 members rating it underperform. Among 14 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), seven give HFF a green thumbs-up, and seven give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on HFF is outperform, with an average price target of $21.00.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.