A123 Systems (NAS: AONE) reported earnings yesterday. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), A123 Systems whiffed on revenues and missed expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue improved significantly, and GAAP loss per share grew.

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

Revenue details
A123 Systems tallied revenue of $40.4 million. The nine analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ hoped for sales of $54.5 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 68% higher than the prior-year quarter's $24 million.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at -$0.56. The eight earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged -$0.49 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS were -$0.65 for Q4 against -$0.43 per share for the prior-year quarter.

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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 -92.8%, 5,540 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -175.6%, 310 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -210.5%, 2,040 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $20.8 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.36.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $238.2 million. The average EPS estimate is -$1.35.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 422 members rating the stock outperform and 64 members rating it underperform. Among 92 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 74 give A123 Systems a green thumbs-up, and 18 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on A123 Systems is hold, with an average price target of $5.56.

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At the time this article was published 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. 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.

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