McMoRan Exploration (NYS: MMR) reported earnings on Jan. 18. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), McMoRan Exploration missed estimates on revenues and exceeded expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue shrank significantly and GAAP earnings per share contracted to a loss.


Margins shrank across the board.

Revenue details
McMoRan Exploration logged revenue of $84.2 million. The four analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted sales of $89.0 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 31% lower than the prior-year quarter's $121.9 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 -$0.03. The eight earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted -$0.12 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.01 for Q4 compared to $0.16 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 56.7%, 620 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -34.4%, 3,780 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 10.8%, 2,100 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $93.5 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.11.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $390.0 million. The average EPS estimate is -$0.58.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 502 members out of 524 rating the stock outperform, and 22 members rating it underperform. Among 131 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 125 give McMoRan Exploration 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 McMoRan Exploration is outperform, with an average price target of $16.07.

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The article McMoRan Exploration Goes Negative originally appeared on Fool.com.

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.

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